Steve Souders, Chief Performance Yahoo, is jumping to Google as of Jan. 7. From the outside, hard to see this as anything other than yet another long-term exec (2000) fleeing a sinking ship. Any insights appreciated. Steve’s bio below.
Is Yahoo going to zero? Judging by the number of senior folks who are leaving, plus reports of pitiful sales service, plus search share trends, plus the apparent lack of urgency at the top, this certainly doesn’t seem an outrageous conclusion.
And here’s another un-outrageous conclusion: If Yahoo can’t manage to turn its ship around, it will be the 12-year old Internet industry’s biggest disaster story. Yahoo has/had everything: great global brand, awesome financial performance, huge industry lead, the biggest media-company audience in the world, and, unlike the dial-up centric AOL, the right business model. And it still has most of those things.
So if Yahoo ends up getting chopped up and sold at the junk shop, shareholders have every right to be outraged.
(We, personally, are going to give it one more year. It is still nearly inconceivable to us that, given Yahoo’s tremendous collection of assets, it can’t be fixed, and if/when it is, the stock should soar. But we confess that our confidence has been deeply shaken…)
Steve Souders works at Yahoo! as the Chief Performance Yahoo!, where he has developed a set of best practices for making web sites faster. His book, High Performance Web Sites, explains these best practices along with the research and real world results behind them. Steve is the creator of YSlow, the performance analysis extension to Firebug. Steve blogs about web performance on Yahoo! Developer Network. He frequently speaks at conferences including OSCON, Rich Web Experience, Web 2.0 Expo, and The Ajax Experience. Steve is co-chair Velocity 2008, the first web performance conference sponsored by O’Reilly. Steve has been at Yahoo! since 2000 working on many of the platforms and products within the company, including running the development team for My Yahoo!. Prior to Yahoo! Steve worked at several small to mid-sized startups including two companies he co-founded, Helix Systems and CoolSync. He also worked at General Magic, WhoWhere? and Lycos. In the early 80’s Steve caught the Artificial Intelligence bug and worked at a few companies doing research on Machine Learning including several publications and conference appearances. He received a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and a MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.
Steve’s interests are varied. He sits on the board of Freehand Systems and Fremont Hills Country Club. He teaches Sunday School at First Lutheran Church in Palo Alto. He’s played basketball with several NBA and WNBA players. He was a member of the Universal Studios Internet Task Force. He participated in setting a Guinness world record. He rebuilt a 90-year-old carriage house. He has a wonderful wife and three daughters.
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