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Carol Bartz, former CEO and Chairman of software company Autodesk, was picked to lead Yahoo as its new CEO.
Yahoo wraps up its CEO search, picking a new face

The last time Yahoo was searching for a CEO during a tough time, it picked a familiar face, Jerry Yang.  Mr. Yang had been one of the company's cofounders and seemed like a good fit to turn the company around.  It turned out he wasn't.  Over the next year and a half, Yahoo saw its market share get gobbled up by a hungry Google and saw an embarrassing hostile takeover attempt from Microsoft.  In the end, Mr. Yang stepped down and the company was left searching for a successor.

Now Yahoo has finally announced their pick, and it will strike some as perhaps unsurprising that they picked an outsider.  Yahoo is ready to announce that the former Chairman and Chief Executive of software design company Autodesk, Carol Bartz, will come aboard as CEO of Yahoo.  Ms. Bartz resigned from her chairman, CEO and president roles in 2006, but remained with the company temporarily as executive chairman.

Todd Greenwald, an analyst for Signal Hill comments, "I think to a certain extent, any certainty is good, and any new CEO is better than what they have right now. Right now they've been without real leadership for several months now.  She's really facing a perfect storm here: a challenging economy, challenging position in the market ... the online advertising market is going to be very hard for them."

However, while he does not feel Ms. Bartz has what it takes to necessarily turn the company around.  He states, "I think the reaction is going to be mixed. On one hand it's better than going with some internal option, but on the other hand, I think the market may be a little bit disappointed that Yahoo's not going with someone who isn't a little bit more savvy when it comes to technology and media." 

"There were other execs out that had a lot more experience with the actual markets that Yahoo is in, which is very different from what she was involved with at Autodesk, with design software. That may be her biggest challenge, really getting up to speed on the world of media and online advertising and monetization which is really what Yahoo needs to improve on."

While Yahoo faces a tough uphill battle in terms of advertising revenue and search market share, it does hold one key trump card over Google.  At the Consumer Electronics Show 2009, virtually every display manufacturer announced high definition LCD TVs loaded with Yahoo widgets internet connectivity.  LG, Visio, Toshiba, Sony, and Samsung all announced partnerships with Yahoo.  While this technology is currently on the high end, it will eventually trickle down to the average consumer and the internet connectivity will be expanded.

With Google caught sleeping when it comes to internet-loaded TV, Yahoo is poised to have a market of millions of new users.  Yahoo representatives spoke with DailyTech at CES 2009 and said that for now the company just wants to get its service on as many new TVs as possible. 

However, they agreed that there were plans to eventually roll out advertising with the service.  And when those plans actualize, Yahoo may be able to finally take on Google.  However, in order to carry out such an ambitious campaign, it needs a good leader at its helm.  Thus, new CEO Carol Bartz's leadership will play an integral role in determining whether Yahoo experiences newfound success or continues in its decline.

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Spare change?
By Bender 123 on 1/14/2009 9:59:38 AM , Rating: 5
Based on stock performance, I think the change they are looking for is in their employees couches. The incoming CEO will have a new policy that all staff will need to empty their pockets of change to keep the company going.

As a show of solidarity, she even brought in her whole change jar from home, upping the bottom line by $86.23.

RE: Spare change?
By grenableu on 1/14/2009 11:21:25 AM , Rating: 5
she even brought in her whole change jar from home, upping the bottom line by $86.23.
You laugh, but that increased quarterly profits by 123%!

RE: Spare change?
By thepalinator on 1/14/2009 11:35:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yahoo makes profits??


By chmilz on 1/14/2009 10:51:07 AM , Rating: 5
Board of Directors: First question, Carol. If someone, say, Microsoft, offers us billions more than what the company is worth, what will you do?

Carol: Sell. Make every shareholder stinking rich and save thousands of jobs.

BOD: Hired!

RE: Interview
By Solandri on 1/14/2009 7:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
For all the flak Yahoo catches about refusing the Microsoft deal, if you plot YHOO vs. MSFT from 31 Jan 2008 (the day before the Microsoft buyout offer) to present, you'll see that YHOO (down 35%) has actually performed slightly better than MSFT (down 41%).

So at this point it's probably safe to say the buyout would've been great for the YHOO stockholders, but bad for both companies overall. Microsoft would've lost a huge amount of its liquid capital, and Yahoo would've been shackled to a company performing worse than they are.

By phazers on 1/14/2009 1:04:01 PM , Rating: 3
She's a heck of a lot better looking that the old Jerry Ying-Yang..

RE: Whoa
By Oregonian2 on 1/14/2009 5:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
And maybe Jerry Yang can go over to Apple now that Steve Jobs has stepped down (at least until June, wink wink).

Things can't get much worse...
By amanojaku on 1/14/2009 9:48:32 AM , Rating: 2
So a change in management is not only necessary, it's potentially good. If you look at their careers side-by-side Yang looks like a bigger success than Bartz since nearly everyone knows about Yahoo! but few outside of the 3D/Engineering world know of Autodesk. On the other hand, Autodesk seems more stable than Yahoo!, despite the smaller earnings, and isn't in the news wringing its hands over its fate. We'll just have to see what she can do.

RE: Things can't get much worse...
By ZmaxDP on 1/14/2009 7:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
As someone relatively familiar with Autodesk, I can tell you that Carol did not leave in good stead with employees. She was a very poor CEO for the firm in terms of visionary leadership. As another poster pointed out, Autodesk doesn't have a great reputation with its rather large customer base either due to it's business strategies and inability to receive feedback.

However, in the last 6 months, I have seen a rapid turnaround from Autodesk in a lot of areas. They are expanding BETA programs to a larger group of customers, expending a significant amount of resources on customer feedback sites, and actually focusing on customer requests as a key part of their strategic vision. All of this has been lead by Carol's replacement - Carl Bass. Now, I'd hire him in a flash, but I wouldn't touch Carol with a 10' pole for this kind of position.

Oh no!!!
By Cobra Commander on 1/14/2009 11:44:35 AM , Rating: 4
As someone who is infuriated by Autodesk's antiquated, out-of-touch and haughty practices year in, year out I can only say:

OH NO!!!

Autodesk sits on their laurels because of their market penetration and engages in licensing and development practices that are, simply put, ignorant.

Yahoo is doomed.

...unless, of course, by success one means "to regurgitate the same product over and over again and overprice their technologies" then I guess I should say "Yay for Yahoo!!!".

Now is a time for change- Pt II
By Dfere on 1/14/2009 9:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
Now Google wants your change as well.....

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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