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Yahoo Replaces Half Its Board of Directors

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the firing-everyone-fixes-everything dept.

Businesses 48

itwbennett writes "Yahoo's restructuring continued Tuesday with the ousting of 4 board members, including chairman Roy Bostock, according to an IDG News Service report. The move follows the resignation of Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang in January and gives investors something they'd been calling for, says analyst Greg Sterling: 'Investors have felt for a long time that the board was just rubber stamping what the leadership was doing. They want a reinvigorated board with some independence. People will wait to see what's different but I think this will be seen as a positive.'"

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Behold! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968919)

Kevin Bacon Is God!

Microsoft cash isn't coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968971)

No way they get half of what they could have gotten.

Doesn't seem to have had much effect (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969029)

Doesn't seem to have had much effect

http://www.google.com/finance?q=YHOO [google.com]

I'd give a link to a YHOO page for their financials but no one uses YHOO anymore.

Yahoo! does something! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969485)

World yawns, looks at watch.

Re:Doesn't seem to have had much effect (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972455)

The article doesn't say whether they replaced the top half or the bottom half.

Yaa - whoo? (0)

melikamp (631205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969111)

I can't believe they are still alive.

Re:Yaa - whoo? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969187)

They should probably consider renaming their company from Yahoo to Yajé [wikipedia.org] , seeing as they seem to be on drugs to an outside observer.

Re:Yaa - whoo? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974077)

Or renaming the company to Yahweh [wikipedia.org] and going after the religious audience. This has the added bonus that your "customers" are predisposed to believe in miraculous reincarnation... something Yahoo needs.

Re:Yaa - whoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969515)

I don't understand how they became a major "search engine" in the first place. (well... maybe it's due to advertising)
I believe they started out as a directory.
Their search result was useless back then (at least to me), because they only return websites that exist in their directory, which makes the search base very small and limited. I used Infoseek at that time, which returns much more useful results.
When they used Google's search later, and now Bing, the result, of course, is better, but I don't see why I should use it instead of just use Google.
Some of its services, like yahoo finance, is ok, though.

Re:Yaa - whoo? (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970011)

They are/were only a "search engine" to anyone that only plays lose with terminology.

Yahoo became irrelevant shortly after the amount of web content exploded. They simply bet too low and took the wrong strategy. There is no amount of corporate ballyhoo that will bring them back to relevancy.

Re:Yaa - whoo? (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970721)

Yahoo! Answers is good, too. Well, good if you want to gawk at the horrifying depths of human stupidity. The average IQ of the Yahoo! userbase must be asymptotically approaching zero.

Re:Yaa - whoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972279)

The average IQ of the Yahoo! userbase must be asymptotically approaching zero.

Actually, I don't think that zero is the floor for their IQ...every time I read something there, I feel dumber for having seen it. Therefore, the average IQ must already be 0.

Re:Yaa - whoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973047)

I've still got an email account with them, basically because I can't be bothered to shift at the moment.
If Yahoo goes any further downhill, I'll have to move away - maybe have a go at hosting my own server or something.

Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (4, Informative)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969281)

I just went to yahoo.com, and what a confusing mess! It's packed with tiny pictures, lists of links, and generally seems like the site doesn't know what it wants to be. Where do I make a blog, or a Yahoo! store, I don't know. The AOL-style 'be all things' isn't going to work when competitors can be better at just one thing.

Revenue declining year after year isn't going help either.

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969461)

Took me a couple minutes but maybe you were looking for the search page rather than the cluttered yahoo homepage?

http://search.yahoo.com

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969695)

Powered by Bing, lol

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (2)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970333)

So where do I make a blog or a Yahoo! store? Finding an uncluttered launch page doesn't change the basic problem: Yahoo! is a confusing mess, and the individual things you can do are not as good as what competitors offer.

I'm sure there's a nice, clean, straight forward link for making a Yahoo! store too... visitors just don't know what it is.

(I just found it here: http://www.google.com/search?q=Yahoo!+store [google.com] )

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969789)

You wanted http://search.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] :)

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969837)

They could come back if they figure out what they want to be (as you point out). There's still a lot of talent in that company, and has been for a long time. They've just lacked any definitive direction to move.

People can complain about Mozilla's changes or GNOME's changes over the past few years, but they've kept a strong direction and still know what they want to be. The same can't be said for Yahoo! (I recognize these organizations are in different markets doing different things to begin with).

Yahoo! should find a new direction, but they should also stand out as an example for Facebook. If Facebook doesn't find a permanent direction beyond monolith of social, they will eventually find themselves in Yahoo!'s boat. The social web won't stay a monolith forever, and right now Facebook has the resources to actually branch out and find their future niche.

Yahoo! doesn't have the resources they used to, so they may have to grind a niche they don't like for awhile, just because they've got the tools and talent to make it work in the short term. Or, maybe some of the new board will find inspiration in the bottom of a box of Cracker Jacks(tm).

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970129)

People can complain about Mozilla's changes or GNOME's changes over the past few years, but they've kept a strong direction and still know what they want to be. The same can't be said for Yahoo!

I keep thinking of people who use computers by rote (first I click here, then here, etc...) versus the rest of us who are actively looking for the right link or button, and trying to understand how to use it. Yahoo! has always struck me as the former, and maybe they don't change because they're afraid of losing their current user base.

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985539)

No, that's backwards. Yahoo actively alienates people who use computers by rote, because they *constantly* dork around with the arrangement of their site. Things are almost never where you remember them being. (Yahoo Mail is especially horrible in this regard. Their users are constantly coming to me for help finding where the "reply" button got moved to this week.) It only *looks* like they haven't reorganized it in decades. In actual fact, they've probably moved at least one thing between the time I wrote this and the time you're reading it. Despite constantly shuffling things around, though, they never achieve a state of being organized. That's probably because their organizational skills leave something to be desired.

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970661)

I know a few people who really love Y!'s home page. I asked a female cyber/online friend/former co-worker who said, "... I think Yahoo homepage is the most entertaining site out there." Huh? Whatever.

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38971517)

This pic shows a concise summary of what Google did right, and what Yahoo did wrong.

http://img361.imageshack.us/img361/443/yahoovsgoogle1996to2005ys4.png [imageshack.us]

About it...
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/03/in-pursuit-of-simplicity.html [codinghorror.com]

--
Focus isn't about saying yes, but about saying no -- Steve Jobs

Re:Is Yahoo dead, or can they come back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38975467)

They won't "come back"*. Five or more years ago they tried to hire me (anon) as part of a 'dream team' of web devs that their own web devs respected. It was going to be a big resurrection, authorized from the highest office. They were going to be better at the web than Google.

Nothing ever came of it. Nothing at all. They didn't get the 'dream team' and they didn't empower their own web devs. Precisely /what/ goes on internally is anyone's guess, but change doesn't happen despite strong efforts from inside. Think of it like Sony's hardware division vs Sony's media division.

* "come back" is an odd phrase here. It's like how Japan always talks about "recovering". They still refuse to admit their pre-bust economy was a fraud-bubble that burst, and that their current status is realistic. Hence they continue to fail to plan a way forward.

Only half? (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969341)

I guess now they are least half-witted.

they need a Steve Jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969395)

too bad one isn't forthcoming

More interesting than it would first appear... (4, Informative)

Rone (46994) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969575)

These ousters are more interesting than they first appear...

Judging by this summary [yahoo.net] (now out of date) of the Yahoo board, 2 of the removed board members (Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson) were financial/investment guys (i.e. not technical people), 1 (Vyomesh Joshi) was a former "printer guy" from HP (whose technology credentials are highly suspect given his probable ties to Carly Fiorina), and 1 (Roy Bostock) was the current CEO.

Almost all of the people left on the board appear to have some decent technology credentials. If you wanted to "cut the fat" from the Yahoo board, you could do a lot worse than removing these four people.

Perfect time for a comeback tour for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969585)

Yahoo! Serious?

Translation (4, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969835)

They want a reinvigorated board with some independence

Translation: they want a board that will do what Microsoft wants.

Re:Translation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38970253)

I thought the previous regime made a huge mistake by signing the long-term relationship with Microsoft to use Bing. That was like the Nokia-Microsoft deal - you can't hand off your core competency and expect to have a bright long term future.

Re:Translation (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970571)

That was like the Nokia-Microsoft deal - you can't hand off your core competency and expect to have a bright long term future.

Most American corporations today believe that exact thing.

only half the board? (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969969)

all the "top floor folks" need to be tossed on the slide, and they can "Ya-HOOOO" all the way into the dumpster. bunch of hopeless leeches to be burned off, and then corporate doctors can see if there are any veins left to bring this critical case back to life.

valuable technology for Yahoo right now (4, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970165)

One of the biggest innovations the new board members could bring with them would be a time machine that would enable them to travel back to 1999 and prevent Yahoo! from squandering $5.7 billion in capital on its acquisition of Broadcast.com from Mark Cuban. [wikipedia.org]

These time travelling board of directors could then safeguard this capital from other potential blunders by locking it up in Apple Computer stock, which according to this inspired 1999 Motley Fool article [fool.com] admits Apple is "a very meaningful distance away from being a top tier Cisco, Intel, Microsoft or Yahoo!. That said, Apple is directionally on target and looking quite strong among the pack of PC makers." It would have been a much cheaper buy than Broadcast.com and left Yahoo! with pockets full of cash in 2012.

Yahoo!'s biggest problem over the years has been their leaders who have been suckers for hucksters who can deliver a good dog-and-pony-show and their organization itself has been unable to successfully deploy any new business concepts.

Seth

Re:valuable technology for Yahoo right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38970761)

I disagree. If that happened, then Mark Cuban wouldn't have been able to cash out after selling Broadcast.com and buy the Dallas Mavericks...

I'm not a Mavericks fan, but at least his ownership is interesting, as compared to the robbers that now own the Oklahoma City Sonics, or the owners of the other NBA teams, for that matter.

Re:valuable technology for Yahoo right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973911)

Your observation is a strong commentary as to the hole that the Mavericks were in back in the nineties. A hole so deep that it would cost Yahoo! $5.7 billion to make them competitive.
 
On a side Mavericks note, I lived in Dallas in the early nineties and remember reading a newspaper feature story detailing how a few of the Mavericks players were classic car collectors. It showed a photo of several of them standing next to mostly 1970s El Caminos and the like. My friend promptly pointed out it was unlikely they could afford new sports cars, so that's why they were driving around in El Caminos.

corporate business in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38970455)

yahoo just doesn't get how a modern corporation works.

the headline SHOULD read "Yahoo replaces half of its board with other half." with the article text that the first half will be filling the void left by the half of the board replacing them.

Anyone have a car analogy? (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970587)

In lieu of a car analogy... does anyone else NOT see this as the corporate equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?

I can't remember the last time I considered Yahoo! relevant. Sure, I have an email account with them and I use YIM, but they're not really differentiated in any way. I could lose both and still continue on with GMail and GTalk, for example. (Ok, so YIM has a bigger "smiley" set. Ooh. Big whup.)

Re:Anyone have a car analogy? (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972821)

Yahoo still has Flickr.

Re:Anyone have a car analogy? (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972895)

And some people survived the Titanic in life boats. If Flickr is the only thing relevant about Yahoo!, then spin it off and let Yahoo! die.

Re:Anyone have a car analogy? (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38976001)

I don't really know about these things but shouldn't it be the other way around. Why would you take one of the most successful part of your business and remove it from your company?

Re:Anyone have a car analogy? (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#38976269)

So it has a chance to survive in spite of its parent's failure.

break it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38970935)

I think Yahoo should spin off each product as an independent subsidiary. Let them choose their own management and path to success (or not.) The corporate head should become a startup incubator creating new subsidiaries.

Half the board are idiots (2)

spasm (79260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38971977)

Reminds me of a front page headline from a small town in Western Australia in the 1920s: "Half the town council are idiots!" When threatened with a libel lawsuit, the editor agreed to an equally prominent retraction, and sure enough published an equally prominent front page headline the next day: "Half the town council are not idiots!" Genius..

They took a page ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38971989)

... from HP's management primer.

I hear Kim Kardashian is available.

Yaaaa-HOOOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977889)

Forget Maynard Webb, they should hire Maynard G. Krebs.

What about the actual service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38979263)

When i signed up, it was for the biggest (in the uk) auction, dating, social network and webmail to rival Hotmail.

Now they could have been ebay, match.com and facebook rolled into one. They are just an advertizing vector for the competition, a shill for the murdoch empire and an aquisition target for the evil empire. Even the best of their tech (spam filter) is being used to suppress dissent.

Shuffling beancounters at the top wont change this. Puting quality of product over speculative value of shares may.

Still... someone has to store my spam

Still around? (1)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980495)

Yahoo! is still around? I thought that died off already...

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