Well, that didn’t take long. A day after the happy “mutual decision” story about Jerry Yang’s impending resignation as Yahoo’s CEO (not that anyone was buying it), anonymous Yahoos are already rushing to get the the real story out (WSJ):
“This company has shown a failure to execute,” said a person familiar with the situation. Yahoo’s next CEO “can’t be just a thinker.”..
“The thing that Yahoo needs most is someone who can make decisions and who is comfortable with the risk of making fast decisions,” said one former Yahoo executive.
“The mistakes he made were on the operational side by not reducing costs and increasing efficiency” fast enough, said Dona E. Roche-Tarry, a London-based technology recruiter for CTPartners, a U.S. search firm.
Thus, a key attribute of Yahoo’s next CEO will be “decisiveness.”
Yahoos pumped the WSJ full of Jerry-can’t-make-a-decision stories, one of which we’ve excerpted below. The episodes in which this tendency was clearly visible on the outside were the weeks in which Yahoo was casting around for an escape hatch to the Microsoft deal (and patiently explored every possibility in detail, ultimately settling on a doomed one–the Google search partnership) and the recent agonizing merger discussions with AOL.
Mr. Yang’s preference for letting employees reach consensus rather than make tough decisions himself sometimes backfired, creating bickering among employees.
Last year, to prepare for a keynote presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show, he asked several senior Yahoo executives across different groups to brainstorm big company-wide projects to show off, according to four people familiar with the matter.
When executives asked for more guidance to help resolve their disputes, he told them to work together without much further detail, these people said. Mr. Yang eventually ended up showing off a number of features that the company still hasn’t launched.
The board is also looking for a leader more engaged in discussions, said people familiar with the matter. While negotiating a long-simmering merger with Time Warner Inc.’s AOL, there was a perception among the board that Mr. Yang appeared reluctant to pull the trigger, according to these people, although there have been numerous other barriers to a deal, including price.
The leading CEO candidates, by the way, are said to be Peter Chernin and Tim Armstrong, the latter of whom is winning our reader poll. We’ll add more candidates today…
See Also: Choose Yahoo’s New CEO: Vote Here
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