How To Save Yahoo: Reboot (YHOO)


A Yahoo manager who survived the layoffs weighs in with his plan to fix the company (below). Surely there are other good ideas out there. Please send us your plan ([email protected]), and we’ll publish it in a future post.

Let me preface this email by letting you know that I was spared yesterday from the layoffs at Yahoo.

A tech story to start: When things on my laptop start freezing or performance drops, I reboot my machine. It typically needs to refresh itself and get back to the core of what needs to be run. Occasionally I clean house and delete some junk programs running in the background. By cleaning and rebooting, my machine runs smoothly and efficiently. It?s not perfect as the day I turned it on but it is faster and I am happier. Yahoo is in need of a reboot!

As a manager, I had to say goodbye to a lot of VERY talented people yesterday. From layoffs to people quitting, we are losing good people (as well as some bad). As a company, Yahoo needs to see that it is not because these people lost value, it’s because Yahoo lost value…literall and figuratively!

Let?s visit a list of all things gone sour:

1. The company literally lost value:

I blew tens of thousands of dollars in restricted-stock value over the last 6-8 months because my dumbass thought MSFT would buy Yahoo.

2. Yahoo has become a cautionary tale:

Every interview I sat in started as a conversation about how Yahoo blew the Microsoft deal and they ALWAYS asked if I sold my shares before the offer bottomed-out (my dumbass thought they would take the deal and so you should re-read #1)

3. USELESS Directors and VPs Remain:

I heard of one marketing VP calling a meeting next week to speak about her GROWTH within the organisation. While the brand of Yahoo is strong, compare that LAME/BORING marketing we have to what we just saw yesterday at the layoffs. A taco truck to recruit laid off engineers ? Brilliant! While we cannot have taco trucks in front of Google or eBay, we can think outside the box? When did Yahoo stop thinking this way!?

4. Yahoo is ALMOST the new AOL:

AOL did not see (or did not care to see) the growth of online advertising and stuck to its monthly fee model. On the other hand, Yahoo still maintains their market share of traffic; they just need to find a better plan to monetise on that traffic. Not as simple as I make it sound but the battle is not over. We just have moron generals leading this battle.

5.What happened to the buzz surrounding the Peanut Butter Manifesto?

Bring that back to the headlines and compare what Brad said to what is occurring now. As much heat as he got for that memo, it was spot on in many instances with the direction that Yahoo is moving today.

In context to my computer analogy, there are a lot of “programs” running in the background. We have properties that are junk, VP/Directors that are skating by and too many redundancies. But through all the background junk, there are a few “core programs” still running at Yahoo.

I’m just a low level manager that has seen her share of re-orgs and layoffs. It is time for management to see the real talent, reward them, and give them the task of re-growing Yahoo. We have the talent we just need a leader to come and see it. We have laid people off, we are closing offices and we need a new CEO. What better time to reboot? As much of a pain it is to reboot during the middle of the day, we need to do it. For the next CEO: it’s time for Yahoo to hit control-alt-delete. Unlike Terry Semel, I sure hope you know what that means.