We’ve asked you to help Yahoo management fix this once-great company. You’re weighing in with lots of suggestions–some of which are excellent. Keep ’em coming. In a few days, will summarize the best ones and send them directly to Jerry.
Post suggestions in the comments below, or send them to me directly ([email protected]). Anonymous submissions obviously fine. In the meantime, here’s a summary of what you’ve said so far:
HOW TO FIX YAHOO
Become a best-of-breed content conglomerate, like GE. I think one model for Yahoo to follow is the Jack Welch/GE model. Some might call it the CMGI model. Yahoo should look to acquire strong properties which have a loyal readers. With depressed markets, and they may get more depressed, Yahoo may be able to acquire these at reasonable prices. Develop a best of breed approach and demand each property be number one in it’s market, or sell it. News and news aggregation, movies, maps, etc. Make each property stand on its own. Yahoo will never be a hardware developer or distributor. Nor will it develop or distribute and service software apps. It will not have the flexibility or initiative to bring new properties off the ground. It should look to acquire sound properties (alla the Cisco model) in early stages of development. It’s their only chance to survive… (Excerpt from note from an ex-Yahoo: Read full note and others here)
Dump Sue Decker. It’s time to call Sue Decker to the mat. She has failed — miserably — and deserves to be roundly criticised for her failure. She needs to go.
Provide exact financial details on “core businesses”. Jerry, Sue, and Blake talked a lot about the strength of the “core businesses” last night–that is, the owned-and-operated properties, excluding Overture Japan, the broadband deals, etc. They threw out lots of sexy numbers–query growth 10%, revenue-per-search growth 20%, search growth 30%–but without exact details, it was hard to put these numbers into context. If there’s really a pony in there, let’s show it to the world. So…
- Provide a “pro forma” financial statement with an 8 quarter trending schedule showing the revenue and cash flow of the “core businesses” as you define them. Provide footnotes showing exactly what is included and excluded (i.e., how to reconcile with the GAAP statements). That way, if the core businesses really are strong, we’ll all be able to see it.
Hire Tim Koogle–Yahoo’s CEO in the 1990s–back as a consultant. Tim?
Company’s in great shape and doesn’t need fixing! You’ve got to be kidding me – approx 7.2B revenue, 500M (audience per month) – and only $18/19 per share?? We have all the talent and tools necessary to capitalise and monitize a sound strategy – that is able to compete with and surpass that of Google. 2008 will be the defining year for Yahoo! By the way – we do love Tim. He is very well respected throughout the organisation.
Shut SAI and Blodget up. In the past, you bashed Yahoo everyday, please stop bashing Yahoo, and they will be fine. Yahoo is still a good and solid company.
Hire consultants and/or buy software. Ever heard of the Adaptive Enterpise work done at IBM? It has saved IBM literally billions of dollars through a project called Workforce Management Integration. In an industry all about the future, it might be what Yahoo! needs to make swift, effective changes in their organisation.Either develop your properties/brands, or kill them off. Stop letting your properties stagnate, i.e., Yahoo Mash, Kickstart, Bix, Jumpcut, MyBlogLog. They all seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth. If they are not part of the solution, dump them. Concentrate on aggregating information and building online communities, both of which Yahoo is known for. Reestablish your identity and stop playing the role of Google’s ugly stepsister.
Stop playing Carousel of Business Strategies and take the company private. Google has a simple strategy. They would like to put ads everywhere — in all languages, in all channels, on all platforms. Does anyone doubt that? As for Yahoo? They have a different strategy every 6 months. Buzzwords like “start page” for the web that come out of some offsite isn’t going to get the job done. We all know people that work there. The morale is so low that it’s impossible to overestimate the effect. They need to be taken private and develop a strategy that puts them back on a growth footing.
Figure out what services people really like and shoot everything else. And outsource search to Google. How the hell could it take 10,000 people [14,300, ed.] to operate this company? They have 4 or 5 things people value and about 100 things nobody knows or cares about. Clean things up. And the most obvious idea—-outsource search to Google and get back to the portal content business. Take your medicine and at least make some money.
Don’t outsource search to Google! Outsource search to Google? Worst idea ever (not to mention the day it happens I might fall over and die on the spot, which might actually please some people.Yahoo’s search is just starting to get very good, and I’m positive they’ll figure out how to make it even better in the future…I would just hold the horses on any outsourcing search idea for now, really. Google search is not that great anyway…anyone used it lately? And paid any attention to what they were looking at in the results? Really?
Just put your ad units in better places on the page–and collect another $500 million a year. One thing they can do for sure to increase revenue significantly is to work on ad placement in terms of getting higher click rates. As someone who buys remnant media regularly from them I can guarantee they can increase revenue by making more prominent placement for remnant ads, by at least 500% on remnant, which is definitely over $500 million a year. [Editor’s Note: An anonymous Yahoo requests more specifics on how to do this]Give up and sell the company. The multi-millionares running this company have been given MORE than enough time to ‘right the ship’. The rally cry is now, ‘well… we will get ’em in ’09’? As a sizeable shareholder, I prefer them put the company up for sale NOW. This should be done publicly. I can only hope and pray for a bidding war to drive the share price up. Jerry Yang should think about his fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders getting creamed as the share price languishes at a 4yr low. Let’s go… Microsoft, AT&T, News Corp, Time Warner, Comcast, Baidu, Berkshire Hathaway (OK a reach.. but, Warren-Sue connection???), Private Equity… ANYONE! I dont care.. I want a share price north of 25 and I dont care how we get there anymore. I am sick of waiting!
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.