Yahoo! pleads! for! ad! juice! as! products! guru! exits!
CEO tells staff it's time for YET ANOTHER makeover
Yahoo!'s latest broom, Scott Thompson, is trying to fix the company's ailing business by giving the Purple Palace yet another revamp.
This means that people need to be axed, products need to be sharpened or dumped and various execs are suddenly vanishing.
All of those moves happened under Thompson's predecessor Carol Bartz, who tried to turn Yahoo! around but was eventually sacked for failing to achieve that ambitious goal.
In a memo to staff yesterday, Yahoo!'s current chief said that the internet "pioneer" needed to focus on its customers. In other words, the company needs to do a much better job of enticing admen through the door.
Ad revenues – the lifeblood of any prominent web estate – have continued to decline at Yahoo!. Just last week, the firm confirmed plans to lay off 2,000 employees, or 14 per cent of its workforce.
Thompson told staff yesterday that a "new leadership structure" would be created as of 1 May to streamline Yahoo!'s biz. Three divisions will operate on consumer, regions and technology. Product development, meanwhile, has effectively been distilled, which means each group is responsible for its own product development. “We are bringing dedicated product engineering resources into each unit, much closer to our users,” Thompson said.
"Each of the three groups will be charged with delivering the best customer experiences and have very clear accountability for getting results," the Yahoo! boss said.
"Our new consumer group will be all about creating great, engaging user experiences. Our geographic regions will serve our advertisers and agencies and be accountable for all Yahoo! revenue."
His final consideration was for for tech, which Thompson said would "provide the advanced infrastructure, technology and science to enable our consumer group and the regions to deliver our best products and experiences into market, at scale, and fast".
But arguably, technology is at the bottom of his pile of priorities, given that Yahoo! is now in the game of simply trying to survive. Meanwhile, Blake Irving, who was brought in by Bartz about two years ago to overhaul the products division, has decided to quit the company.
That probably has something to do with the fact that so many of his people at Yahoo! were sacked last week. The company is ditching product development in a BIG WAY with Thompson scrapping that wing of the biz. No wonder then that one-time Microsoftie Irving wanted out.
Much more than ever, Yahoo! is trying to reposition itself, not as a tech company, but as an online media outfit that publishes content and makes money from advertising. The only problem with that is that Google and Facebook long ago beat it to the punch and anyway, Yahoo! was always, first and foremost, a sticky portal injected with ad juice. The only problem is it forgot to reapply the glue. ®
Dead Man Walking
Unfortunately Yahoo's fate was sealed many years ago when it failed to maintain its hold as the portal of choice in the face of Google.
It turns out that people dont want Portals - they want basic search (google) or a semi-cozy environment to interact with their friends (Facebook). Since Yahoo do/did neither well they are doomed.
Now if they had attempted to monetise Hadoop - it may have failed, but it may have gained a revenue stream.
Infact if I was google I would be looking at Yahoo rather nervously right now. Their fates could be the same over the long term - stuck in a (profitable for now) rut - but unable to innovate out of it. Before you say it - Android is just a method of generating more input to that rut.
The next decade will be interesting to say the least.
1. Yahoo dies.
2. Web 2.0 bubble implodes - taking out most Secondary and Lower tier players.
3. Microsoft nosedives further.
4. Oracle's Hardware business finally gives up the ghost and is limited to appliances for pure Oracle stacks.
5. Big Data saves us all or implodes.
6. Google fails to re-invent itself for the 2020's again and again. (but rakes it in in the medium term).
How much of Yahoo is email? How much email is spam?
If Yahoo wanted to survive, they would protect their main asset. I think it's email, but spam is NOT an asset. Therefore if Yahoo wants to survive, they should get serious about breaking the spammers. No, you can't exterminate them, but you can destroy their business models until they crawl under other rocks.
How about a REAL anti-spam system built into Yahoo email? Imagine something like SpamCop on steroids. Instead of one round of analysis and confirmation going after the ISP and the webhosts, it should have several rounds of increasingly sophisticated countermeasures targeting ALL of the spammers' accomplices and ALL of the spammers' infrastructure and thinking about ALL of the spammers' victims. Yahoo could try to break EVERY part of the spammers' business model.
Wouldn't you volunteer a bit of your time to help out? Though it's still fine if you don't want to, because there are LOTS of people who hate spam. If only a small fraction of the spam haters had better spam-fighting tools, they would vastly outnumber the spammers' victims.
Come on Yahoo. Are you ready to think about surviving yet?
Its karma for screwing with geocities.
pint raised to all those early WWW visionaries that geocities empowered. *cough*