Yahoo's Bartz: "I love being a public company CEO"

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney.com) -- Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz took the stage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco to field two key questions: What is Yahoo, and will it soon be taken private?

"Maybe it's taken me years, but I got it," Bartz said. "I think Yahoo is a simple story: we're a tech company, we're content, we're media, we're innovative. We have that quality, and it allows us to really personalize the Web."

Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) went "off track" when it was viewed as a search company, Bartz said. She called online search "an arms race," adding that search algorithms face a huge set of challenges in trying in to stay relevant.

But Bartz got defensive when asked about critics who say Yahoo lacks an identity: "When you get 30 miles outside Silicon Valley and 60 miles out of New York, everyone knows what Yahoo stands for. They don't ask these trick questions."

Yahoo remains one of the Web's largest content networks, and serves 18 billion ads a day, Bartz said. Like every other Web giant, the company is under pressure to come up with a social strategy that will help it retain users amid Facebook's meteoric growth.

"Social doesn't exist just one place on the Internet," Bartz said. "We're not trying to copy anybody. People don't go to Facebook or Yahoo -- they go to Facebook and Yahoo."

Bartz wouldn't comment on the recent rumors that Yahoo is under pressure to merge with another company or go private. "You know I can't, as a public CEO," she said, adding coyly, "I love being a public company CEO. Write that down."

Conference moderator John Battelle steered clear of the other Yahoo news item swirling around: Reports that the company is preparing for a round of significant layoffs. Instead, he engaged Bartz in a word association game.

Apple: "Beatles."

Twitter: "Tweet."

Microsoft: "Partner."

Facebook: "Competition."

HP: [Pause] "Where's Leo?" [Apotheker, the new HP CEO]

Google: "Great company," Bartz concluded, pointing at Battelle as she laughed. "Couldn't get me on that one." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,113.54 61.81 0.36%
Nasdaq 4,456.02 31.31 0.71%
S&P 500 1,983.53 9.90 0.50%
Treasuries 2.47 -0.01 -0.32%
Data as of 8:02am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.52 0.00 0.00%
Apple Inc 94.72 0.78 0.83%
Microsoft Corp 44.83 -0.00 -0.01%
Intel Corp 34.79 0.73 2.14%
Facebook Inc 69.27 -0.13 -0.19%
Data as of Jul 22

Sections

Passion fruit, Mexican cinnamon and Ecuadorian cocoa. From coast to coast, entrepreneurs are brewing craft beers that incorporate Latin flavors. More

One recently retired airline worker on Obamacare said his tax credit for 2014 will return him $3,600 for the year, or 23% of his annual income. He's watching the dueling court rulings closely. More

Ladar Levison, the guy behind Lavabit, is launching Dark Mail to encrypt emails so the NSA doesn't even know who's talking. More

Passion fruit, Mexican cinnamon and Ecuadorian cocoa. From coast to coast, entrepreneurs are brewing craft beers that incorporate Latin flavors. More

Court documents show big support from Detroit employees and retirees for a turnaround plan that should help the city emerge quickly from bankruptcy. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.