Yahoo CEO Update: The Money’s On John Chapple (YHOO)


Who’s going to be Yahoo’s next CEO?

A “salt-and-pepper” type, says one of the candidates. A “safe” pick, says another: Someone who Yahoo’s risk-averse board chairman Roy Bostock and pal Gary Wilson won’t worry about trotting out for institutional shareholders like Gordy Crawford or antsy fellow board member Carl Icahn.

Everyone we’ve talked to recently is betting on former Nextel Partners CEO John Chapple, who joined the board with Carl Icahn in August.

Below, more stuff we’re hearing. Please send us more ([email protected] or 646-747-1539).

Yahoo CEO scuttlebutt:

  • Former AOL CEO Jon Miller is out of the running, but not because of his noncompete with AOL. That’s just an excuse. People just don’t look at AOL as much of a rousing success story for him to hang his hat on.
  • Experience running a large public company is a real requirement. One source said the new CEO needs to have run a multi-billion dollar company with more than 10,000 employees.
  • (Either that or the “I have no experience running a multi-billion dollar company with more than 10,000 employees” is just popular excuse among candidates who know they won’t get the job._
  • Yes, Yahoo board member Maggie Wilderotter is CEO of a public company, Frontier Communications, but it’s in such a “slow, sleepy” industry that our sources can’t imagine Wilderotter gets the gig.
  • Chapple may be the guy, but it’s not because he’s a beloved or particularly well known figure on the board. We heard from a second source that when institutional investors asked Carl Icahn why he selected John Chapple and Frank Biondi  to join him on the board, Carl said something along the lines of “Ah, whatever, they’re all good guys.”
  • There are three camps on the Yahoo board. The Post-Terry Semel people who support the Jerry Yang agenda. The Pre-Terry Semel people who are scared stiff of picking another wrong CEO. And the Icahn people who “want anything different from the status quo.”
  • One disenchanted source says to expect 20 of the top 25 executives at Yahoo to be gone within the next year, starting with Yahoo President Sue Decker and her old roommate, US boss Hilary Schneider. 
  • “Yahoo’s been a culture of who you know,” says the same source, perhaps best explaining why the board is so intent on picking a CEO nobody knows.

See Also:
Yahoo CEO Update: Rosensweig Conspiracy Edition (YHOO)