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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yahoo Has A New CEO

I land in the valley and see in a surprising move, Jerry Yang takes over as the CEO of Yahoo. Terry Semel’s exit was more or less a foregone conclusion, but co-founder Jerry taking the CEO role is a definite surprise.

Few months back, when Yahoo announced a new restructuring, I wrote, the market perception remains pretty much to be desired. I also noticed that the peanut butter manifesto has not been taken too seriously. Come to think of it,If Yahoo can undergo this turmoil, fate of the innumerable web wannabe's are best left to the imagaination of their backers.

Jerry Yang outlineshis vision of a Yahoo! that executes with speed, clarity and discipline. A Yahoo! that increases its focus on differentiating its products and investing in creativity and innovation. A Yahoo! that better monetizes its audience. A Yahoo! whose great talent is galvanized to address its challenges. And a Yahoo! that is better focused on what’s important to its users, customers, and employees.

Quite neat. Yahoo has massive assets. It has the best content, vertical portals and a good share of coloborative tools. It has a good brand image among its customers –but probably it is not aggressive enough on building the me-first or me-best image. It has sustainable critical mass in terms of content, infrastructure and advertiser base. There are incredible challenges in running the optimal mix of businesses, which we have identified as content, portal, search, marketplace/e-commerce, communications (IM, e-mail, VoIP), and payments. Mobile foray could potentially help Yahoo create a new niche. Better execution and top notch performance in leveraging its assets is the key.

Yahoo is a global brand - a very liked one at that. Like what Jerry says, Yahoo has massive potential, drive, determination and skills, and he and his team has to make sure that the external perception of Yahoo!(read performance)accurately reflects that reality. They may not have much time ahead to make this happen.

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