A little while ago one of my coworkers alerted me to the fact that news vans were showing up on campus. (I'm at our Mission College office right now, just a few miles away.) Then he pointed me at Rumor: Yahoo executive powwow after market closes and Yahoo Execs Meeting To Discuss Major Shakeup.

And, as you might expect, the internal rumor mill was already in full swing.

At one point in the IM conversation, shortly after I suggested that Britney Spears should be our new CEO (since she's so popular here anyway), I wrote the following:

Maybe this will make wall street happy and our stock will rocket up before we all have to find new jobs...

Being a quick-witted one, he wrote back: that should be codified as the "Prayer of Silicon Valley"

Sounds good to me.

Posted by jzawodn at December 05, 2006 05:12 PM

Reader Comments
# E. David Zotter said:

Would you like some jam with that peanut butter?

-E. David Zotter

on December 5, 2006 06:45 PM
# Kevin Burton said:

Sweet. You guys should hire some more Scientologists ;)

on December 5, 2006 08:13 PM
# John K said:

I don't think the reorg is gonna be enough.

Semel is not technical enough.

Though, I do wish you would get to work attaching monetization to every API possible.

The rest of my take:


on December 5, 2006 09:28 PM
# Chris Heuer said:

I am just wondering what has taken so long to get to this point - clearly everyone inside knows about these problems, as does everyone across the valley. Why does it take a leaked memo before the C-Suite swings into corrective action?

I am stil rooting for you though...

on December 6, 2006 12:04 AM
# dave mcclure said:

britney for Yahoo CEO?

naah, i think you need a Madonna type -- after 20 years, she's still fresh & keeping up with the times. britney may be younger and perkier, but she's already better known for crappy parenting & misplaced underwear than for her music.

now Christina Aguilera on the other hand... SHE might actually improve monetization. and her latest recording probably has a strategy lesson for Yahoo too:

on December 6, 2006 01:52 AM
# Miles said:

Semel is not technical enough.
Since when does technical know-how equate to Net Income? What percent of the Fortune 500 CEOs are engineers/scientists/mathematicians/etc? Certainly technical folks can be great leaders, shareholder value etc, but, being technical minded does not ensure those qualities. Semel may not be the right CEO, but, it wouldn't be because of his technology knowledge.

on December 6, 2006 10:23 AM
# Michael said:

Tech CEOs/Chairmans with technical backgrounds: Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer (take your pick,) Eric Schmidt, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Jonathan Schwartz, Alfred Chuang, Jeff Bezos ... So maybe not every CEO has a technical background, but a lot of them do. Of course a lot of these examples are people who were founders of their companies. Companies like IBM and HP have non-technical CEOs currently.

on December 6, 2006 11:00 AM
# chad said:

Everyone knows what's wrong, but nobody has the balls to fix it. Semel knew what was wrong when he started. Yahoo was running 44 seperate businesses, each with no incentive to work together. He start restructuring, into 4 business units. But then Yahoo got side tracked. They started making money again, so the core problems got pushed to the back burner. I haven't been at Yahoo for just over 2 years now, but from what I hear through the grapevine not a lot has changed in this regard.

What this shake up says to me is the money is drying up, so Semel et al. are back to reorgs. Frankly, they need to shit or get off the pot. If they want there to be all kinds of synergy across BU's, they need to incentivise BU's to work together.

If they don't want to do that, they should recognize that properties like TV and Search or Shopping have very little to do with each other and really should be separate companies. To that extent, if they want to please the street in the short term, they should think hard about sluffing off properties that don't pull their own weight monetarily.

Of course, I'm only an opinionated engineer, I don't know the inner workings of corporations, and I don't think that I really want to.

on December 6, 2006 11:02 AM
# Daniel said:

Guys, stop taking things too seriously,
life is about fun.

Does anyone have any funny jokes? Jeremy, crack something funny on the blog :)

on December 6, 2006 10:30 PM
# laura said:

I'm happy about the reorg for Yahoo Media Group. Lloyd Braun is a cool dude & brought some interesting and unique ideas our way, but I'm very optimistic for what the future holds for the Audience group under the direction of Jeff Weiner.

on December 7, 2006 08:44 AM
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