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Yahoo! Rebounds? No.

July 17, 2012



We heard an interview today with the New York Times Andrew Ross Sorkin who broke the story today that Google’s Marissa Mayer is Yahoo’s new CEO. Sorkin is in a position where he got the gift of an exclusive story so he didn’t want to ruin the party. But his story-line is a fantasy and we’d be amazed if he believes it. Sorkin says that one of Yahoo’s big problems is that it has to compete for talent with Google and Facebook and he suggests that the arrival of Mayer will help to recruit talent. Seriously?

Yahoo has a nice campus if you are into that and they over-pay but people don’t want to work there. If we were Mayer our calculation would be that Yahoo has a CEO job and she needs that as a stepping stone to a CEO job at a company that is not troubled. Eric Schmidt, who was CEO at Novell before getting the CEO job at Google, might have given her this advise.

Sorkin writes “The appointment of Ms. Mayer is consider (sic) a coup for Yahoo.”We don’t argue with that. Getting an exec from your rival makes Yahoo newsworthy. And Sorkin does a good job of laying out Mayer’s weeknesses. She has never been a CEO, Yahoo! is a mess, and… she’s pregnant. But Sorkin says she has 6 months to a year honey-moon. Nothing and nobody can turn around Yahoo! in 6 months to a year. It takes 6 months to recruit good people and again those people don’t want to work at Yahoo when they can work at any number of companies that are increasing in value at crazy rates.

In other industries bad companies can turn them around. But in the Internet it rarely happens.

View NYTimes

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