Yahoo! Post Mortem…A Bit Premature?
Just one day after the announcement of Jerry Yang stepping aside as Yahoo! CEO, Forbes magazine takes a look at the 5 Biggest Mistakes Yahoo! made while hitting the skids as of late. The article reads a little like an autopsy on a live body. Sure Yahoo! is struggling to survive in the exhaust of Google and others cleaning their clock in the race to control the net (for now) but is Taps necessary just yet?
The article ‘interviews’ several Yahoo! staffers in what appears to be some kind of odd lunch time ambush since most of these ‘interviewees’ were carry their lunch or some kind of boxes. We heard things were different at Yahoo! but now we have some insight I guess. Of course, with 1,500 layoffs looming these folks may be gathering their belongings in anticipation of a trip to the HR department soon.
The five main reasons for Yahoo!’s stumble as cited by these mysterious employees were:
- Projects started but never completed. Apparently it was de rigueur for the company to start something and then let it fade out with no results. Honestly, I have to say that this is not just a Yahoo! problem but if the number of these projects was excessive that can kill resources and morale.
- Whiffed on Google. Remember when Yahoo! had a chance to buy Google in 2002 for a mere $5b? How different might the world look if that had gone through.
- The Terry Semel effect. Missed out on Google and started media initiatives that have crapped out for the most part.
- Google beats Yahoo! to DoubleClick. Another real ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda’. These are the kind of things that keep Yahoo!er’s and Jerry Yang up at night.
- The Microsoft acquisition shuffle. I think there is a pattern developing here ……..
Other possible causes of the current state of unrest are the current economic conditions (which holds no water since Google seems to be doing fine, thank you) and the big killer of any business: indecisiveness. Lower level employees were quick to point upstream on this one saying that upper level execs weren’t instilling a lot of confidence in the rank and file.
While it may seem all doom and gloom there are still hopefuls on campus. There is a new cloud computing initiative that many are saying can help turn the corner. There is still plenty of brain power at the company and there are some strong offerings like Yahoo! Mail and Finance that keep rolling along.
OK, Pilgrims, let’s hear it. What is going to happen to Yahoo!? Where will they be in a year from now? I suspect that there may be a few strong opinions floating around out there. Let’s hear it.