Yahoo has a lot of promise, but not a whole lot of execution. It's getting to be "put up or shut up" time for Carol Bartz.
The company's stock is actually up 33% since she was named CEO in January 2009. Investors have mostly cheered Bartz's decision to focus on the company's wealth of content over search, leveraging Yahoo's status as one of the largest Web properties in the world. Yahoo has also amassed an impressive array of international Web assets, including some prominent ones in high-growth areas like China.
Ah, if only life were only that easy. Non-content companies like Google and Facebook have eaten away at Yahoo's lead in the display advertising market. Yahoo's decision to pawn off search to Microsoft hasn't yet paid off for either company, with technical snafus and disappointing revenue following the partnership.
Most recently, Yahoo shares plunged after the company disclosed in an SEC filing that it had lost access to a prized Chinese online payment service. Alipay, a division of Alibaba, of which Yahoo owns 40%, was transferred to another company owned by Alibaba CEO Jack Ma in August 2010.
Yahoo claimed that it was not aware of the move until March, but that only made investors more wary about how little control Yahoo seems to have over its Asian assets.
Yahoo is also facing questions about its social strategy -- or lack thereof -- as well as its mobile presence. Bartz's plate is looking awfully full these days.
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