Monday, June 18, 2007

Terry Semel (Yahoo! CEO) Quits

Weeks after Yahoo! CTO's resignation (or was he forced out :)), Yahoo! CEO quits. Unlike Google, Yahoo! turned to old media to lead the company. The results of course were way below par. Terry Semel was a controversial choice but one that at times, brought hope. At no time in Semel's tenure that hope seemed sustainable. Destruction of Overture, failed acquisitions like Web Jay and lack of effective strategy (yes Yahoo! Photos, yes Flickr!, no Yahoo! Photos).

Jerry Yang is himself stepping up to take charge. According to "The Google Story," this is exactly what was so hard to give up at Google where all kinds of pressure was applied to let go of the CEO position.

But does it really matter whether Jerry Yang holds the CEO title or not? Yahoo!'s focus on centralized decision making is famous enough to be part of Strategic Management courses. The question that comes to my mind is whether Terry was allowed to do what he wanted or his position was just used to get the signatures.

Is Jerry the right person who can lead Yahoo! to recovery? We'll see. But the change itself doesn't seem exciting or promising to me. As a Yahoo! user, I would have liked to see someone other than the "obvious choice".

On a side note, I am highly disappointed by the extreme focus on commercialization of Yahoo!'s home page. Too many ads and too many commercial links.

No comments: