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Yahoo Co-Founder Yang Now In Charge

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the psst-hey-jerry-i-got-some-ideas-for-ya dept.

Yahoo! 91

Raver32 writes "Yahoo Inc. Chairman Terry Semel ended his six-year tenure as chief executive officer today and will hand over the reins to co-founder Jerry Yang in the Internet icon's latest attempt to regain investor confidence. Semel, 64, will remain chairman in a non-executive role. Besides naming Yang as its new CEO, Yahoo appointed Susan Decker as its president. Decker, who had been recently promoted to oversee Yahoo's advertising operations, had widely been seen as Semel's heir apparent."

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Wise move, dude! (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564159)

Well--if eBay, Hewlett Packard, Rosie Magazine, Telecom New Zealand, and Martha Stewart have taught us nothing--it's that appointing a woman as a top executive is a great way to improve employee morale, inspire public confidence, and satisfy shareholders.

Okay, mod me down. You still know it's true.

with Jerry in charge (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564441)

Yahoo! shareholders are really going to take it in the Ying-Yang!

You're right about Decker, she climbed the affirmative action ladder. A white man with her skills would be a no-name first line supervisor.

Re:with Jerry in charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564593)

All you "losers'r'us" crowd, stick under this thread so the rest of us can skip over you.

Re:with Jerry in charge (5, Interesting)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566489)

You're right about Decker, she climbed the affirmative action ladder. A white man with her skills would be a no-name first line supervisor.

A few months ago I would have agreed with you. However, Warren Buffett thinks enough of her to add her to Berkshire Hathaway's Board of Directors. I will defer to his judgement on this one.

You just need to look at her CV (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19583615)

The assertion of the AC is ludicrous, one does not need Warren Buffet to recognize that woman has some serious brains.

Says a chauvinist AC. (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19583565)

From Yahoo's website:

"A key member of Yahoo!'s executive team, Susan L. Decker is the head of the Advertiser and Publisher Group (APG). As the head of APG, Decker is a key participant in determining Yahoo!'s business strategy and is focused on transforming how advertisers connect with their target customers on the Internet. Decker's APG organization includes direct and online sales channels, the publisher channel, marketing products, and Local Markets and Commerce. Prior to her APG role, Decker was executive vice president and chief financial officer from June 2000 - June 2007, managing all aspects of the company's financial and administrative direction within key functional areas, including finance, facilities, investor relations (and human resources and legal through December 2006). Decker reports to chairman and chief executive officer, Terry Semel.

Prior to joining Yahoo! in June 2000, Decker was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) for 14 years. Most recently, she served as the global director of equity research, a $300 million operation, where, among other things, she was responsible for building and staffing a non-U.S. research product based on global sector teams. Before serving as DLJ's global and domestic head of research, she spent 12 years as an equity research analyst, providing coverage to institutional investors on more than 30 media, publishing, and advertising stocks. In this capacity, she received recognition by Institutional Investor magazine as a top rated analyst for ten consecutive years.

Decker holds a bachelor of science degree from Tufts University, with a double major in computer science and economics, and a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School. She also received the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst in 1989 and served on the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC) for a four-year term, from January 2000 to January 2004. Decker served on the board of directors of Pixar Animation Studios from June 2004 to May 2006, until its sale to Disney and The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) from March 2005 to May 2007. Decker currently serves on the board of directors for Berkshire Hathaway, Intel Corporation and Costco Wholesale.

"

Lets hope they change (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564171)

Yahoo has been run into the ground because it was treated like a telcom. The employees have minimal incentive to really innovate. If they return to treating employees like part owners (the way they use and the way that Google currently does), then they stand a chance to compete. Until then, they will remain a second rate search engine.

Re:Lets hope they change (5, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564249)

Until then, they will remain a second rate search engine.
Giving John Doe in software development a raise and stock options will not make Yahoo! the number one search engine. Changing their business plan (if they have one) and offering something that every other search engine doesn't will.

Re:Lets hope they change (5, Insightful)

jb.cancer (905806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564407)

Giving John Doe in software development a raise and stock options will not make Yahoo! the number one search engine. Changing their business plan (if they have one) and offering something that every other search engine doesn't will.
and how do you think they'll come up with that 'something innovative'. No matter what kind of process/model you follow it's the *people* who work there that will make the difference. Remember, not everyone is a John Doe, and those special people need to feel like the place where they work is part of them in order to motivate them and get the best. otherwise it's just a matter of time. so i go with GP.

Re:Lets hope they change (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565261)

and how do you think they'll come up with that 'something innovative'. No matter what kind of process/model you follow it's the *people* who work there that will make the difference.
Do you really think that most innovation from multinational corporations is driven internally?

Traditionally, large corporations 'innovate' through acquisitions, licensing or they just outright steal ideas.

Example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_acquis itions [wikipedia.org]
And that list doesn't include patents or software they've licensed.

Re:Lets hope they change (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 7 years ago | (#19569951)

I realize this is just my perception (i.e. it's not accurate, just the way I'm made to feel) and that it's been engineered (by Google at least):

When I use Google, I feel that I'm being served the best possible way.
When I use Yahoo, I feel that they do the minimum to make as much money from me in the short term (I feel used). I used Yahoo messenger and Yahoo mail a long time ago and if I didn't pay the premium I was going to be advertised to hell.

Again, I know Google is not benevolent (I'm not an idiot) but it feels (probably to most laymen) like it when people use them.

Re:Lets hope they change (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564849)

Exactly how do you think Google innovates? They do it by giving 'John Doe in software development a raise and stock options', as well as other benefits, and encourage him to try new things. Because he's happy and they'll let him, he'll FEEL like trying new things. If John Doe makes an average salary and isn't encouraged to innovate, he's going to keep his head down so he won't lose his job for screwing up the new idea he had.

If you really think Yahoo can just say 'We need something new.' and a suit is going to come up with it, you're sadly mistaken.

Re:Lets hope they change (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564565)


Until then, they will remain a second rate search engine.

Yahoo doesn't see itself as a search engine, they see themselves as a portal. Of course the demographic they're aiming for has changed recently.

I'm not sure why anyone would go to Yahoo anymore. I used to house all crap "we need an email address" email at yahoo, but after having to read about some idiotic thing Britney or Paris did, or some foolish article about "Office tips you should follow!" for the umpteenth time on the front page of Yahoo, I've moved my crap email to Google.

Yahoo seems to think it's ideal customer is the bubble-headed bleach blond who's thinking about being a "career man/woman" now. It's basically Glamor on the Internet. I'm sure there's a market for that, but it seems strange that was supposed to be a billion dollar company is aiming for that small demographic.

Re:Lets hope they change (3, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564659)

Why would anyone go to "www.yahoo.com" anyway? If you're using Yahoo for your email, go to "my.yahoo.com" instead and customize the page. I never see that sort of bubble gum crap on my front page because I don't have that module. With the My Yahoo customization and adblocker, I get a nice, subdued page with news coming in from various reputable wire services.

Of course, using the site in conjunction with adblocker in order to make it look good probably isn't what they had in mind, but oh well.

Re:Lets hope they change (2, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566905)

Why even "my.yahoo.com"? Why not just "mail.yahoo.com", if you just want the email?

Re:Lets hope they change (1)

Walter Carver (973233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19579025)

Even better go to http://mail.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] (even if your yahoo mail is yahoo.co.uk or yahoo.ca since only yahoo.com has https).

Re:Lets hope they change (1)

n1ckml007 (683046) | more than 7 years ago | (#19582527)

why not go to "mail.yahoo.com" skip to the email authentication page?

Re:Lets hope they change (3, Informative)

wdr1 (31310) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565833)

Yahoo doesn't see itself as a search engine, they see themselves as a portal.

Yes and no. I worked there for five years -- while Yahoo has obviously always had the portal-side, the "we're not a search engine" bit was dropped years ago, when Inktomi [wikipedia.org] was purchased.

For the last two years at least, Search has been a major focus for the company.

-Bill

Re:Lets hope they change (1)

denidoom (865832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566915)

I kind of like bubblegum. I also like KDE, and I like Mac OSX. There is a rising interest in pop culture and I think Yahoo is trying to go for that market. It's not as small of demographic as you think. I seem to remember back a while ago some big entertainment company gave a lot of money to yahoo... sony? someone like that.

But the commenter below is right... who goes to the homepage anyway? I use yahoo movies, groups, and mail and just go directly there. Recently they gave me unlimited storage in my (free) mail account although I can't stand the bloaty beta mail and stick to the old school version. Even though Yahoo has changed a lot over the years it has a bit of comfort to it - it's UI is familiar. Sure having new ajaxy, web 2.0 stuff is great, but it's nice to use the familiar every once in a while too.

Re:Lets hope they change (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19569961)

I'm not sure why anyone would go to Yahoo anymore.

Off the top of my head, I can think of plenty of people that use yahoo. My parents, my aunt, my coworker. The thing I've noticed with yahoo is that they have always tried very hard to cover a wide range of information and they've always tried to make that obvious. They're essentially what AOL tried to do but better. For some people (geeks and people that only care about getting one thing done) that isn't ok, but for many people, that is actually better.

Most people on slashdot probably use Google because we're knowledgeable enough about other things that we don't need a portal website like yahoo. For other people that aren't as tech savvy, yahoo is their choice because it offers a majority of the things they need at a decent quality.

There are also a lot of other people that at some point opened an email account with yahoo and ever since haven't bothered to switch services. Google mail, while a fairly good service, doesn't contain anything essential to all emails users so for them it is easier to just stick with their old email address than to move to another account.

I used to house all crap "we need an email address" email at yahoo, but after having to read about some idiotic thing Britney or Paris did, or some foolish article about "Office tips you should follow!" for the umpteenth time on the front page of Yahoo, I've moved my crap email to Google.

And Google is any better? Google Mail has this really annoying blue bar at the top of the "body" section of your email controls that shows you information totally unrelated to mail. In fact, right now, it is showing me the following: "Yahoo! News: Entertainment News - Milan To Create a Via Versace (Fashion Wire Daily) - 2½ hours ago." Every time I see it I loathe it because meaningful titles (like the email title) or controls/buttons should go there. Not some stupid link that's cleverly disguised.

Re:Lets hope they change (1)

Aczlan (636310) | more than 7 years ago | (#19570993)

And Google is any better? Google Mail has this really annoying blue bar at the top of the "body" section of your email controls that shows you information totally unrelated to mail. In fact, right now, it is showing me the following: "Yahoo! News: Entertainment News - Milan To Create a Via Versace (Fashion Wire Daily) - 2½ hours ago." Every time I see it I loathe it because meaningful titles (like the email title) or controls/buttons should go there. Not some stupid link that's cleverly disguised.

you do realise that you can turn that off in settings???
go to Settings > Webclips > and there unclick the box marked "Show my web clips above the Inbox"... should take 45 secs...

I hope that I can become second rate (2, Insightful)

anomaly (15035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564609)

$6.5B in gross income, $3.7B in gross profit, $37B in market cap?

Oh, that I could be so second rate!

Re:I hope that I can become second rate (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565131)

Current income does not mean SQUAT. Just 4 years ago, GM was one of the top companies. Likewise, Pure Oil companies are on top of the world (well in america). What matters is how you are set up for the long-term.

Currently, Yahoo is declining and will continue until they change how they do business. As it is, they treat them like a large telcomm. They have AVERAGE pay, AVERAGE benefits, AVERAGE managers, and worst of all, no ownership of ideas. Business ppl and marketing is in control of Yahoo. Google did the smart thing and has marketing working in collaboration WITH techies. That is, techies are developing ideas (labs.google.com) and then marketing looks at how to integrate. Yahoo has marketing telling techies what to do. Sadly, Yahoo has the same type marketing ppl that every other company has; Worthless followers. Yahoo will continue to fall UNLESS they have learned.

And yes, their search engine is 2'nd rate.

Mediocre is good enough (2, Insightful)

anomaly (15035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565583)

Many many many times, mediocre is good enough to allow companies to remain significantly profitable, even with poor leadership.

If you consider $3B in profits to be "continuing to fail" then I'd love to see your definition of success!

Perhaps Yahoo is focusing on a market who simply doesn't understand that it *could* be better than Yahoo currently is. No one goes out of business underestimating the lack of intelligence in the population. Lowest common denominator can make lots of money. Perhaps it's their strategy.

Re:Mediocre is good enough (4, Insightful)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565935)

Yahoo is a public company.

If I'm going to invest in a company, I'd like to see a return on that investment that is at least as good as the market average. Otherwise, I'm better off with an index fund or some other type of investment.

It's not good enough for a public company to simply make a profit, since it's competing for investment dollars with all other public companies. The company has to be seen as an investment that will generate greater returns than the various other investment options out there.

While it may seem silly that a profitable company is still "in trouble," this is the risk that is taken when a company goes public. A private company could make $1 net profit, and that's $1 more than it needs to survive.

Ah, the speculators raise their head. (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19584273)

It used to be that investors would materialize a return on investment based in the company's performance via the dividends.

Now "investors" (I called them gamblers, pure semantics) expect a "return on investment" based on the share price.

What you are advocating is simply the economics of the bell curve, in which there are always winners and losers all shaped along the curve, and if you pull some from one side, then you have to add them in the other side.

If people were actually obtaining ROI based on dividends then all could be winners. But lets keep gambling, it is far more exciting.

Re:I hope that I can become second rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19573523)

I think you are wrong. In its heyday, Yahoo! was hiring the brightest people in all areas. Even today to get into Yahoo is not easy at all.

Re: Yahoo has some things going for it but.... (1)

breeze95 (880714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19574781)

Yahoo has a few things going for it. For one, it's an excellent news portal and entertainment portal. I think one of the things that are hurting Yahoo is their too close relationship with Internet Explorer at the exclusion of other browsers (i.e. Firefox). I can't access a lot of Yahoo's content with my browser of choice which is not IE; hence, I don't use Yahoo as much as I would other wise. I suspect many Firefox users share my experiences.

Re: Yahoo has some things going for it but.... (1)

Moochman (54872) | more than 7 years ago | (#19575157)

What are you using in Yahoo that doesn't work for you in Firefox? I've used Mail and Photos, both of which are very AJAX-y, and they both work great in Firefox--in fact Photos even had a Firefox plug-in so I could drag photos into the browser (too bad their shutting it down in favor of Flickr now, since it actually let you view and download full-res photos for free). I know that Yahoo are kind of dicks about letting you use Konqueror and the like, but Firefox at least has always worked fine for everything I've used...

Re:I hope that I can become second rate (1)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19567557)

Nice point-in-time numbers, sure.

But 3 years running of net income roller-coastering down while revenues have been rising doesn't fill investors with a lot of confidence in one's operational management oversight.

Not that I'm sure what Jerry Yang will be able to do differently, other than possibly re-moralize the troops...

Another Decker who has... (1)

SpaceCommander (817390) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564647)

...had the "enterprise" taken away from them by the chief yahoo. (ST:TMP references...what too obscure for you?)

start by fixing home page. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564759)

Yahoo suffers from "terrible first impression syndrome". They actually do have a lot of great services. Their webmail is just as good as gmail. What kills them is their home page. I put it somewhere between teen magazine and ad farm. They have to make their homepage look more professional. The next step is to reduce the size (and bandwidth requirements) of their ads. Try using yahoo maps. It is basically the same as google maps, except that is a big fat ads in the lower left hand corner that updates every time you click. Consequently the maps update much slower the google maps.

Yeah, but (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565223)

Yahoo, like MS, is simply copying and stealing from Google and Others. They need to be innovative again. At this time, they are not. Even in your post, you compare to Google. You (and others) no longer say that it is better.

BTW, MS has the same issue. MS has always stolen/copied others ideas. But normally, they do a one up and make it better. But lately, MS has not even been doing that good. At this time, they are fighting multiple fronts and trying a number of different approaches to kill it all off (OSS/Mac/Google/OpenOffice/etc IS hurting MS).

Telcom or media company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19565339)

Yahoo has been run into the ground because it was treated like a telcom.

Liked the post, but disagree with the statement above on two counts:

  1. Yahoo! was not run into the ground. It's still a great company with a lot of money. Instead, it has been made irrelevant, which is probably far worse.
  2. Yahoo! was not treated like a telcom, but like a media company. Terry Semel is indeed a media person, and media was all the emphasis in the first years of his tenure.

I used to work in Engineering at Yahoo!, and still love the company. The founders, Jerry and David, are still around every day. They are the most normal and humble people you could imagine, and they created an environment that is devoid of the brassy arrogance that is so typical of places like Google.


In 2000, though, Yahoo! pushed strongly for media and content partnerships, thinking that places like Sports, Movies, News were going to be the engines of growth. Yahoo! forgot it is first of all a technology company whose users and customers expect world class products, not world class feeds. When Google came about, it focused strongly on products and technology, and Yahoo! was not in a position to fight back. It wasn't because it believed in the wrong strategy, but most importantly because the people at the helm didn't know how to fight a product battle.


Once Yahoo! decided that Search was the application without whom it would be dead, it spent billions of dollars and many, many man-years to get to a new search strategy. They put Jeff Weiner in charge, one of Terry's media execs, and he didn't understand that what he needed was innovation. Instead, the company focused on making search more prominent, and on catching up with Google. On the Internet, though, offering the same product as the market leader makes you just irrelevant.


I held a little position in Yahoo! until the restructuring of late last year: They canned the COO, Dan Rosenzweig, and the head of media, but the two guys most responsible for the debacle were promoted. That's Jeff Weiner and the CTO, Narzad Farzem (known as zod, which always sounded a little too close to 'god' for comfort). At that point I realized Yahoo! still hadn't understood it needed new leadership in technology and an innovation strategy, and that the loss of the search business was home-made.


I, for one, welcome the advent of the overlord Jerry. It is probably just a caretaker role until Sue (Decker) takes over, but it's a chance to break with the past and to connect the lack of progress with lack of change where it matters.


Yahoo! always struck me as the company where the intelligence is bottom heavy, at least in the Engineering department. Yahoo! has some terrific talent that is just waiting to create killer products, once the disarray and sheer incompetence in the management hierarchy is removed.

Re:Lets hope they change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19566287)

So Semel will be the Ying to Jerry Yang?

Re:Lets hope they change (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 7 years ago | (#19568565)

The employees have minimal incentive to really innovate.

Any employee with a brain and/or an innovative idea already moved to Google. So even if there were huge incentives to innovate, their ability to do so is somewhat limited.

Always quit while you're #1 (4, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564181)

Always quit while you're #1 - from TFA: "Semel ranked No. 1 on The Associated Press' survey of 2006 executive compensation with $71.7 million (U.S.)"

I'm guessing Yahoo's performance was not quite #1 though.

Re:Always quit while you're #1 (0)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564283)

... otherwise, you'll be #2!

Huge penis failure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564291)

In your pants! [goatse.cz]

Re:Huge penis failure (1)

Doctor-Optimal (975263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565653)

Given the post immediately above ("sibling post" I guess), this is actually kind of funny.

gg troll...

He had other sources of income (0, Offtopic)

EccentricAnomaly (451326) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564517)

Always quit while you're #1 - from TFA: "Semel ranked No. 1
on The Associated Press' survey of 2006 executive compensation
with $71.7 million (U.S.)
"

How much of that was royalties from the American Pie movies [blogspot.com] ?

Re:He had other sources of income (1)

EccentricAnomaly (451326) | more than 7 years ago | (#19579707)

he looks like Eugene Levy

Re:Always quit while you're #1 (1)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566239)

My favorite Terry Semel fact: he had never used e-mail before starting at Yahoo[1]. And this was in 2001! No wonder he's done a poor job.

Word is that their software engineering efforts are a sad, sad mess, with a lot of smart people spending most of their time on politics.

[1] Source: The Economist, 10 May 2007, "Face Value: Out-Googled" [economist.com]

YANG ON TOP (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564221)

Better headline

pattern? (4, Insightful)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564231)

notice a pattern? Founder returning to take charge when things are bad, like in the case of Dell, Apple

Re:pattern? (0)

WarpSnotTheDark (997032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564361)

I thought Steve Jobs intention was to drive Apple completely into the ground and make them a complete laughing stock and the butt of many jokes . I heard Michael Dell came back because "Spin City" no longer needed a Richard Kind stunt double.

Re:pattern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564475)

I know they aren't on the same level as Dell, Apple, and Yahoo, but Vonage's founder was also recently put back in charge on his company.

Re:pattern? (2, Interesting)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564701)

In Brazil, we have two saying about this: 1) "O olho do dono é que engorda o gado", that (roughly) translates as "The owner's eye fattens the livestock". and 2) "Quando o chefe senta o empregado deita", that translates as "When the boss sits, the employee lies down". Most successful business out there, no matter if small or big, have the owner in a position of both control and supervision.

Re:pattern? (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19570151)

It's easy to say that but I wouldn't say there's a complete correlation. Sometimes people get hired to lead something that was already bad, starting to go bad, or just had a batch of bad luck. I'd say in those times, companies often switch out who's running the show with another person. The new guy then takes a beating for all the crap that happens. After that the company goes back to the original founder and suddenly everything that was bad in the past gets associated with the guy that was briefly there. But the original icon guy when rehired is back to a clean slate.

heh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564279)

heh heh....Yang

yahoo! (1)

jhutchens (1115547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564359)

I bet Jerry Yang shouted "YAHOO" when he got his new CEO business cards.

Lack of innovation (5, Interesting)

vsl2005 (1098931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564587)

I am the IT Program Manager for a small community college and I think the Yahoo! business portal is an excellent resource for small business owners looking to establish an online presence they can update and maintain themselves. There are lots of other good tools there for market research and general business knowledge. So I am developing a course that will teach small business owners the ins and outs of the Yahoo! program. Yesterday I spent two hours getting transferred to and from various different departments in the Yahoo! corporate system, only to end up repeatedly with the operator at the corporate office who insisted she couldn't transfer me to a live body unless and until I could provide a name and an extension. No good explaining that was the reason I was calling - to try and identity a name and extension that might be able to offer some materials and maybe some guidance in developing the program. In the time I spent discussing this with various Yahoo! representatives, I was transferred, placed on terminal hold, hung up on, and in the end unable to identify a single resource person in the entire company who could assist me. The trick is, I know they must exist! Like many large companies, there just wasn't any mechanism in place for people whose issues don't fall neatly into some predetermined category or script. Nobody willing to take a few minutes and think outside the bloody box. What another poster said was spot on. Note to Jerry - no innovation when you are an innovation company is why you are floundering. Cheers!

Re:Lack of innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19565321)

Anonymous b/c it's not that important... but Y! deals with ~500m unique visitors to Yahoo! properties every month (I think?) If 0.0001% of them are crackpots, that's ~50k crackpots distributed over 10k employees. The reason for operators not wanting to transfer you to live people without a name and an extension is to keep the crackpot to employee ratio low. Yes, it sucks. Yes, I'm sorry for you. Yes, I'm sorry for Y! losing this opportunity. But what's the best way to filter crackpots but still give access to relatively small people who are interested in working with Yahoo? I know! Let's make a gauntlet of one-hundred CAPTCHA's!!11one!! :^P

--Robert

Re:Lack of innovation (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19566071)

But what's the best way to filter crackpots but still give access to relatively small people who are interested in working with Yahoo? I know! Let's make a gauntlet of one-hundred CAPTCHA's!!11one!! :^P

Developer blogs with comments enabled, I imagine. Post a comment in a relevant blog describing what you're trying to do, and hopefully the developer will pass it along to the right department.

Re:Lack of innovation (1)

vsl2005 (1098931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566839)

Poppycock. I explained who I was and what I wanted. Even asked for the business development office. I'm certain there's a corporate training department as well. There was ample opportunity for this person to think out of the box for a moment. This was nothing more than classic "Well the computer says... so I can't" nonsense.

Sounds like they could use ... (3, Funny)

plehmuffin (846742) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566535)

...some sort of directory, or maybe a search engine. I hear the google mini is pretty good for these kinds of applications.

Re:Lack of innovation (1)

wezeldog (982156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19568751)

I'm a sophomore at a small community college. I never thought something like this could happen to me, but one day there was a knock on the door. It was the swedish women's track and field team....what? This isn't Penthouse Forum? Sorry.

Re:Lack of innovation (1)

dscruggs (858714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577815)

...to try and identity a name and extension that might be able to offer some materials and maybe some guidance in developing the program

You should've just Googled it. ;)

Negative cumulative shareholder value added (1)

elstumpo (27218) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564689)

Over the last 6 years (Semel's tenure), Yahoo's stock moved down all in all. Of course, that is mostly because 6 years ago was almost the height of the bubble, but still. It doesn't say much for his leadership. Nonetheless, I predict some other corporation gives him a fat deal now.

Re:Negative cumulative shareholder value added (1)

scsscs (669925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565053)

Actually, not [yahoo.com] . People forgot that Semel was once heralded as the savior of Yahoo.

Re:Negative cumulative shareholder value added (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565093)

Yet despite doing poorly for Yahoo's stockholders and letting Google eat their lunch and dominate the internet, Semel received $70M last year via stock options. Makes you wonder what these executive incentive packages actually buy the shareholders who are footing the bill. Apparently it's not a performance/results incentive.

Re:Negative cumulative shareholder value added (1)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565159)

Nonetheless, I predict some other corporation gives him a fat deal now.

They always do. Good ol' boys club, you know. He probably sits on 10 other companies boards, and those board members sit on 10 other companies boards, ad infinium. So one of those Good ol' Boys will come through for one of theirs in a 'time of need', and place him at some other hapless company. I've seen it happen so often, it's sickening.

Re:Negative cumulative shareholder value added (1)

zasos (688522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565931)

trace board memberships here: http://www.theyrule.net/2004/tr2.php [theyrule.net]

Has anyone mention Yahoo is a dog of a website. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564939)

Yahoo's main selling points to me are its New Service and its Email(which I rarely us anymore). The only problem they have is the completion. Unless Yahoo has the next major advance in internet technology their stock should drop like a rock and replacing the CEO aint going to help. BTW just because you replace the current CEO with a company founder doesn't advance your placement in technologically.

Yahoo needs a lot more than head changes (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565101)

They need to give back to the community in ways that corporate mentality does not permit.

They also need to make some serious technical advancements to work against their currently spammy environment. Once they get the spammy nature of their internet operations back under control, they can focus on community projects to build a fan-base which they sorely need and then start to work on professional services.

It's not just "too easy" to be an advertiser, it marks against them. They need to at least APPEAR to be a community force on the internet that happens to do a little advertising on the side to pay the bills.

Re:Yahoo needs a lot more than head changes (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565451)

What is this "community" you speak of and who makes it up?

Re:Yahoo needs a lot more than head changes (1)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566633)

What is this "community" you speak of and who makes it up?

Community on-line or off-, is the set of people who a) show up, b) talk with one another, and c) care.

On-line, and in the context of a company, the community is generally your core set of users that engage enough to feel like they have a relationship. Flickr and EBay are two companies that have a hugely dedicated community and have turned that into a major asset.

I think Google's community is much more diffuse, and has a lot of overlap with internet geekdom in general. And I think they do a better job of engaging that community than Yahoo does. For example:

We're seeking to do public policy advocacy in a Googley way. Yes, we're a multinational corporation that argues for our positions before officials, legislators, and opinion leaders. At the same time, we want our users to be part of the effort, to know what we're saying and why, and to help us refine and improve our policy positions and advocacy strategies. With input and ideas from our users, we'll surely do a better job of fighting for our common interests.
-- From Google's new Public Policy Blog [blogspot.com]

I can't imagine Yahoo saying something like that and meaning it.

The interesting question: How much does that difference have to do with Yahoo's CEO from 2001-2007 having spent most of his life at Warner Brothers?

What does this mean? (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565149)

Semel, 64, will remain chairman in a non-executive role.

Yeah, and I'm going to remain floor-mopper in a non-janitorial role.

How do you have a non-executive chairman? That's like a non-bread biscuit.

Re:What does this mean? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19565581)

I hope Harvard asked for their certificates back.

Chairmen are usually non-executive. Rather than run the company (the CEO's job) they generally chair an occasional meeting of a group of people (the board) who act in the interests of the shareholders. Duties of the board include reviewing the performance of the executive, and appointing a new executive if necessary.

Also a garibaldi is a non-bread biscuit.

Re:What does this mean? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565729)

Also a garibaldi is a non-bread biscuit.

According to google, a garibaldi is:

  • (1807-1882?) Military leader whose Red Shirt army liberated most of southern Italy, before conquering the northern section. He was instrumental in the unification of Italy.
  • a loose high-necked blouse with long sleeves; styled after the red flannel shirts worn by Garibaldi's soldiers
  • The Garibaldi or Garibaldi damselfish (Hypsypops rubicundus) is a fish of the damselfish family that is native to the northern subtropical parts of the Pacific Ocean, ranging from Monterey Bay to Guadalupe Island, Baja California.
  • Garibaldi was a Mexican group of young men and women, wearing a very free version of the traditional charro costume while singing modern songs, causing some controversy. The name Garibaldi comes from a place in Mexico City where mariachis (traditional groups of Mexican singers) can be found.

Ah, here [wikipedia.org] we are: "The Garibaldi biscuit consists of currants squashed between two thin, rectangular biscuits - a currant sandwich. In this respect it has elements common with its larger, flaky pastry cousin, the Eccles Cake." Biscuits (in this context, cookies) are bread products, therefore the garibaldi biscuit is a bread product, and you owe me a cookie.

Or a packet of biscuits.

A number of problems to solve (1)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565183)

Here are my gripes — why I sold the YHOO-chunk of my portfolio:

  1. The discussion boards. The old implementation sucked, to be sure, but it was better then nothing, and was adding numerous page-views, with well-defined audience for each article. It was dropped last year in favor of the "upcoming new implementation", which is yet to materialize.
  2. The ad-selling needs to be more targeted, Google-like. If they aren't doing it on the discussion boards attached to news-articles (the easiest), where else can they do it?
  3. Hunting spammers, who spamvertize Yahoo!-hosted e-mailboxes and/or sites... The "abuse@yahoo.com" is staffed by morons, who reject the header-less complaints, even when the actionable violation is in the body of the message. The bad, old "not sent through our network" bullshit...

Re:A number of problems to solve (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565835)

I've actually had good luck with abuse@geocities shutting down spamvertized sites.

It does take them 2-3 days but they always reply back. Always include the headers even when it doesn't matter. They have to justify shutdowns.

Re:A number of problems to solve (1)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19567403)

It does take them 2-3 days but they always reply back.

That's much too long. In 1 day, the spammer is likely get 90% of all responses, he can hope for...

Always include the headers even when it doesn't matter. They have to justify shutdowns.

They don't need the headers to justify them. Body of the message is sufficient to shut down a spamvertized site (or e-mailbox). Yes, the body can be faked, but so can the headers...

Re:A number of problems to solve (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19568003)

I'm not sure how long till the shutdown, but they do respond in 2-3 days.

You're right about the other stuff, but they perform much better than just about every other freehost out there.

I'd dump YHOO for other reasons, specigfically their dumping Photos and especially Auctions. If they had spent some time and marketing effort on that we would have a real Ebay alternative, but nooooo... they had to waste years of buildup & recognition in ill-advised cost cutting.

Re:A number of problems to solve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19565925)

From a business viewpoint, #1 & #3 reveal a poor understanding of Yahoo's revenue model. Perhaps it is best you sold and interact strictly as a customer.

#2 almost makes sense. You're wrong about news-article being easy or the most important (new-related article are known to be some of the worst revenue drivers for ANY company -- google included. You really want to purchase suitcases after reading how 3 decapitated heads were found in Samsinte luggage?)

However, you're right that Yahoo does need to vastly improve their contextual advertising, but much easier said than done.

Re:A number of problems to solve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19569453)

You are a dumbass.

The reason isp's reject emails sent to abuse without header information is...

Spam reply to and from addresses are faked 98% of the time.
Doesn't mean anything to you, does it?

If you don't understand, don't worry. Just sell your computer. You have no place on the internet.

Yang Now In Charge (1, Funny)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565385)

What a coincidence. My yang is in charge, too!

Study how people use the net (3, Insightful)

athloi (1075845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565455)

While Semel may be a business expert, what made Yahoo! was its understanding of how to use the net. If you think business-model-first, then you make what exists more profitable. But for profit to exist, it must first be useful.

I am hoping Jerry Yang will return Yahoo's focus to the useful. Many great and creative products have come out of Yahoo, albeit in a disunified, confused, under-promoted way. If he can tie them together into a strategy of how people use the net, like the original Yahoo directory did, he may be on to something.

I also hope they rebuild and continue the Yahoo directory project. As someone who routinely encounters too many junk hits in Google to make searches efficient, I'd like to see a dual-pane search that gives (a) raw results from the search engine and (b) search results from an updated, RDF-tagged, classified and vetted Yahoo directory.

A legend continues... this news makes me smile (despite a lack of corporate loyalty of fanboism, of course).

Re:Study how people use the net (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19568373)

As someone who routinely encounters too many junk hits in Google to make searches efficient, I'd like to see a dual-pane search that gives (a) raw results from the search engine and (b) search results from an updated, RDF-tagged, classified and vetted Yahoo directory

This could be obviated by any search engine by instituting a blacklist feature by which you can tell the engine to filter out all of the cluttersites like nabble, experts-exchange, "i'm hosting manpages!", etc.

Directory is called Del.icio.us (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19570161)

The Y! directory was reborn the day they decided to buy out del.icio.us ...

Now, if only they'd integrate delcious data into search in a somewhat controlled manner, it'd kick ass.

Right now, they're sitting on one of the biggest collection of urls tagged and with notes.

No More Screeners (1)

Aidtopia (667351) | more than 7 years ago | (#19565659)

Does this mean employees will no longer be able to watch Semel's Academy Award screeners in the cafeteria?

Semel was a parasite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19566401)

He personally sold over 500 million sold in stock via options while he was there, over paid at any cost to the corp. He is the poster child of what is corrupt and wrong with western multinationals.

Big mistake (2, Interesting)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566573)

Jerry Yang is not a visionary. He is no Steve Jobs, he's not even a Bill Gates or a Sergei Whatever or Larry Page. He was a Ph.D student who got really, really, really lucky and became a billionaire. His idea was just a bunch of cool sites to go visit, there wasn't even an algorithm behind it.

Yahoo and the internet is a very complex business and requires business savvy. Yang should just spend his money, date model and movie stars and leave it at that. Taking the reins of Yahoo and trying to manage their entire portfolio of businesses is far too complex for someone who doesn't have decades of experience that someone like Semel had. Think about things like branding, partnerships, etc. How do you expect Yang to handle complex business decisions like that?? The short answer is that he can't and won't.

No, Semel did no succeed against Google, however, he had a good idea. Treat Yahoo like a media company, which it is. Google went a different way, and it paid off better. But as a company, Yahoo did not do poorly. It's just that the competition did way better.

Re:Big mistake (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 7 years ago | (#19566811)

He is a visionary.
He saw that the Internet was going to be a vast interconnected jungle. he set up a directory to store the various web sites. Extremely useful at that time.

Everything was managed manually with the technology of these early days.

He is not a genius but he is truly imaginative and most importantly hard worker.

Re:Big mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19568725)

It doesn't matter folks. The Web 1.0 days are over with! Web 2.0 came and is nearly over with! Yahoo! is virtually stuck back in Web 1.0.

Google won and Yahoo is what it is.

I dumped all my Yahoo stock and long time ago and put it into Google. I made a small fortune.

In the business world you go with Number One. Period. End of story.

Does Yahoo need to pay its engineers more? Hell yea! In the last 5-7 years a lot of these tech firms have been skrewing over their talent. Will this turn things around? Hell no!

If I were an engineer at Yahoo I'd be looking for The Next Big Thing. Get away from the Yahoo name. Save your resume! Maybe go start something up on your own even.

Yahoo's best days are in the past. Sure they will be around in some form down the road, but Yahoo will be the sort of company that old engineers go to to semi-retire and pull a pay check. It won't be a place to go to innovate, make a name for yourself, or get rich.

Re:Big mistake (2, Funny)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 7 years ago | (#19571943)

Is it that difficult to type "Brin" ?

Re:Big mistake (1)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19575707)

Oh yeah, that's what it was. I forgot his last name but I refused to Google it just out of principle. I find myself relying on the Internet far too much these days for remembering basic facts so I'm just going to admit I don't know something instead of googling it to avoid making me look dumb.

yay, Advertising! (1)

mojoNYC (595906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19567085)

imo, it's not a good sign for a tech company when somebody from Advertising takes over--'Innovation' then morphs into something like 'resized layout grid to fit in more ads.'

Yang now in charge. (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19572087)

Yin, whose official press release was a blistering "no comment", has been overheard remarking off the record that he will "have his day again."

(sorry ... couldn't resist)
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