Yahoo has no CEO and its board is in disarray.
Photo: Flickr/Yodel Anecdotal
Believe it or not, this is good news!Why?
Because a couple weeks ago, everyone knew that eventually, Yahoo would have to fire its CEO, Carol Bartz, and that the board would be in disarray.
Now that the chaos is here, Yahoo has no choice but to get through it as best it can.
Already, a few select players are taking the opportunity to really put their stamp on the company.
WINNER: Director David Kenny is leading the search for Yahoo's next CEO – and he may pull a Dick Cheney
Akamai president David Kenny is leading the Yahoo board's search for Carol Bartz's replacement.
One industry source tells us Kenny should pick himself:
'He knows the industry and knows the company; Yahoo was his client at Digitas. He's run a private equity owned company, which means he understands what it means to focus on value. He's in a job which is a bad fit for him now.'
If Kenny doesn't choose himself, he might go for former DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt. We're told the pair are 'close.'
Yahoo is starting to act less like a technology company and more like a big publisher.
Ross Levinsohn is a big reason why.
Levinsohn is credited with finally coming up with an easy way to define what Yahoo 'is' -- 'the premier digital media company.' He's also the leading force behind Yahoo's effort to buy Hulu.
The board buys into Levinsohn's plan. It made him part of the executive leadership council that's running the company right now. Along with product boss Blake Irving, Levinsohn is also widely admired with Yahoo's ranks.
WINNER: Yahoos describe product boss Blake Irving as a smart guy doing good work in a tough situation
The two spiritual leaders of Yahoo right now are Ross Levinsohn and Blake Irving. The rank and file product people particularly admire Irving.
'Have you heard him speak?' one Yahoo employee emailed us to say recently.
Yahoo's board recognises this and made Irving part of Yahoo's interim leadership council.
Irving is likely not a candidate for CEO, since he has little experience dealing with Wall Street.
Funny enough, Yahoo's 'chief strategy officer,' Prabhakar Raghavan, isn't have much of a say when it comes to Yahoo's current strategy. He's not a part of the executive leadership council.
The decision likely has something to do with Yahoo's shift from tech company to publisher.
An insider tells us Jeff Russakow -- who has responsibility for all of Yahoo's customer support functions, including audience, small business, ad operations, and search network quality -- was a Bartz favourite, and that it is telling that he has not been included in the executive leadership council. He's another one people see leaving under a new regime.
It's getting clearer by the minute that Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock has finally realised that he and his fellow board members have no idea what to do with Yahoo's domestic and foreign assets.
Better late than never.
He has hired three banks to advise him on what to do next.
Also to his credit, a source tells us Bostock is also actively fighting Jerry Yang's efforts to buy Yahoo.
All that said, Bostock's ineffectual leadership over an ineffectual board of directors put Yahoo into the trouble it's dealing with now -- and Yahoo shareholders know it, so they are calling for his head.
Back in the mid to late nineties, Jerry Yang created an online directory with a catchy name.
Ask most Yahoo shareholders, and they'll tell you that's the last good thing he did for the company.
Unless you stop them, those same shareholders will also ceaselessly complain about how, during his brief tenure as CEO, Yang turned down a $40 billion buy-out offer from Microsoft.
Amidst the current chaos, Yang is trying to buy the company back, according to a Yahoo source.
Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock does not want to see it happen, says our source.
Yang's credibility with employees also took a hit when last week he told them Yahoo was not for sale, even though everyone knows it is.
All that said, no one thinks there is a likely scenario in which Yang finds himself entirely removed from Yahoo or its board of directors as long as the company remains publicly traded.
Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has long wanted Yahoo to sell its huge stake in his company. It is starting to look like he'll get his way.
People who matter -- activist shareholders and top executives -- think Yahoo CFO and interim CEO Tim Morse did as good of a job as he could extricating Yahoo from a tricky situation earlier this year when the CEO of one of Yahoo's Asian subsidiaries, Jack Ma, went ahead and sold one of those subsidiaries to himself.
Morse is part of Yahoo's current leadership council. Some people say there is a scenario in which Morse stays CEO at Yahoo until it is acquired or taken private. If that transaction goes well, Morse will get credit for making two saving plays in one year.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.