“I felt like the biggest problem while I was there [was that] that management was oriented a little bit too much towards the quarterly results,” said Butterfield in an interview with ZDNet.com.au today.
“If the entire focus of the company is produce a certain amount of operating free cash flow or a certain amount of capital expenditure … it isn’t hard for other people to out-manoeuvre you, when they’re not so concerned about those things,” Butterfield said.
Butterfield said he saw Google as a more innovative company.
“I am sure the management at Google, despite their outward proclamations, are every bit as concerned about those numbers, but they are taking bigger strategic risks, and other web start-ups are as well,” he said.
Butterfield also spoke out about Microsoft’s attempt to buy Yahoo, the failure of which has resulted in diminished confidence in Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and a management exodus at the search firm.
“It was not so great,” he said. “Once the ball was rolling I would have rather seen the acquisition happen. I think a lot of damage was done to Yahoo. Not only from a company perspective, but from a leadership and moral perspective.”
Photo: Stewart Butterfield