The new, new Yahoo: Day 1
Welcome to Phase 3 of Yahoo, Inc. That's how CEO Terry Semel is branding the company's new reality in his very own blog post, and before we get on to the pundits, we'll give Mr. Semel props for going direct to the people. (Very Jonathan Schwartz of him.) Naturally, Semel spins things brightly: "Thirty billion in advertising dollars will come online globally over the next five years. No one is better positioned than we are to take advantage of that. I believe we now have the right strategy, the right structure and the right people to provide the best experiences and results possible to our users, advertisers and publishers."

Semel's optimism aside, the blogs have generally pronounced themselves underwhelmed by the restructuring. For the geeks-at-heart, the problem continues to be that Semel himself, and now heir apparent CFO Sue Decker, lack geek cred. In short, the boring corporate suits are still running the club. As Paul Kedrofsky writes: "It's not a bad decision, nor is it an exciting decision. Instead it seems more like a Yahoo decision, with Decker being smart and aggressive, and at least somewhat more tech savvy than Terry Semel, which is all good, even if incremental. She is a finance person, however, so she is not going to be the go-to strategy person at Yahoo any more than Semel was."

Meanwhile, at Valleywag interim editor Nick Denton has actually run a Draft Obit of Semel that begins "Terry Semel never won much respect from Silicon Valley insiders," and continues with the damning description of Semel as a "low pulse guy." TechCrunch also jumps on that bandwagon, noting that "If Yahoo is really serious about redirection, then no senior executive, particularly Semel, is safe from the chopping block."

Semel aside, there's plenty of glee at the heads that have fallen, notably Mr. Hollywood: Lloyd Braun. Thanks to paidContent for pointing out Lloyd Braun's priceless quote to the Los Angeles Times:
Braun said his resignation was not prompted specifically by the restructuring. "I accomplished most of my goals in coming here," he said. "I'm really ready for another challenge, perhaps one that combines old media and new media."
Umm, right.

Finally, Tom Foremski at ZDNet has a conspiracy theory for media junkies on why the Yahoo announcement came yesterday afternoon as opposed to this morning, pre-market open, as is often the case. It seems that while The Browser was hearing from its own sources, The Journal was busy cutting a deal with Semel & Co. for an exclusive. Problem was, Semel wouldn't show up for the interview. Recounts Foremski: "WSJ editors grew increasingly frustrated with the no show from Terry Semel. They worried that Yahoo might be pre-briefing the rest of the universe and it might lose pole position on the story, so the Wall Street Journal told Yahoo it would go with what it had and publish the story online. That prompted Yahoo to try to scoop the Wall Street Journal and get its version out first."

More as it happens....
Posted by Oliver Ryan 8:48 AM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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