Bartz can carry a room; Can she carry Yahoo?

Bartz can carry a room; Can she carry Yahoo?

Summary: Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz sure can carry a room---especially the crowd at the D7 conference. The formula: Drop an F-bomb, talk Dilbert, mock the silos at Yahoo and tease us about a search deal with Microsoft if there are big dollars involved.

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Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz sure can carry a room---especially the crowd at the D7 conference. The formula: Drop an F-bomb, talk Dilbert, mock the silos at Yahoo and tease us about a search deal with Microsoft if there are big dollars involved. Next step: Do something about the sources of those punch lines. 

Bartz has managed to set Twitter afire with one-liners---some of them previously heard on Yahoo's conference calls. 

One Twitter sums up the Kara Swisher-Bartz interview:

1 F-Bomb, a Knee Touch, a dismissive CEO about the shifting start page landscape to Twitter, Facebook, WordPress

From John Paczkowski's live coverage (along with a good Twitter recap):

  • On Bartz reaction when Jerry Yang approached her about the Yahoo gig for the second time: “I said well Jerry, why don’t you draw me an org chart … and he pulls an org chart out of the closet and starts drawing Yahoo’s org. He drew arrows everywhere. It looked like a Dilbert cartoon.”
  • Bartz says Yahoo is too silo-ed. Example: The home page battles over Yahoo Finance and Sports.
  • There are 38 different code bases for the Yahoo home page. 
  • On the Microsoft question, Bartz said she'd sell Yahoo search if there's enough dough involved. Bartz: “If there’s boatloads of money and the right technology involved would be do a deal, sure. It’s that simple. They’d have to have biiiiig boatloads of money, though.” 

The solution for these woes: Grown-up management. Bartz says you can't take 9 women and make a baby in a month. That's shorthand for saying Yahoo needs some more time to bake. 

For what it's worth: Bartz took over Yahoo Jan. 13. Let's call it a little less than four months before this baby is baked and the quips stop working---maybe.

Roll the tape:

Topics: Banking, CXO, IT Employment, Social Enterprise

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6 comments
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  • I like her ideas...

    She's got some fire, and a very good 30,000 foot view. Something a LOT of CEO's don't have. If she can get the "silo's" to work together, yet stay out of the way of how the work is done, things will only get better.

    I find it amazing that most folks don't realize how similar Yahoo is to Google. Both provide almost identically the same content. Only Google uses a minimallistic approach, where Yahoo uses the "in your face" approach. MS learned that minimal was better. I hope Yahoo learns this small idea too.
    Narg
    • Naked Woman : Moderate Search

      Yahoo.com (open suggestion)!
      Gillman_Zorgam
  • RE: Bartz can carry a room; Can she carry Yahoo?

    Yep. Good sense of humor alright but is it enough?

    I manage a Yahoo Group and I have for years.

    I've tried to make myself like Yahoo as a place to go for information but guess what? I don't! I even signed up for an e-mail account a number of years ago and then they wouldn't let me get rid of the damned thing.

    It was so SPAM-laden as to be unusable so forwarding to my preferred e-mail was not an option either.

    I even tried their photo hosting service until they pulled it out from under me - refusing to port my photos to the new service - even though those photos remained accessible from the web! Customer service was dismal.

    Their home page is cluttered and, quite frankly, if it is not accessible from my BlackBerry, it's just not good enough. The New York Times, CNN, and Wikipedia provide a great deal of information and, along with Google, they are all as accessible from my BlackBerry as they are from my desktop.

    Ultimately, though, once you've lost a customer, getting them to come back is pretty difficult unless their alternative no longer meets their needs - or unless you can reach them and convince them that they are "new & improved".

    I'll give her time but until I see some sign of change, I won't bother.
    M Wagner
    • Re: getting rid of an email account

      I don't follow your complaint about the email account. If you don't use it, does it matter if it exists?

      More than that, however, IME, if you don't log into a yahoo account for several months (3, I think), it goes away.

      The rest of your complaints seem legit, though I can't say I used the photos, and I never go to Yahoo's main page, though I do use my.yahoo.com all the time
      notsofast
      • No they never go away...

        I check into mine maybe three times a year to make sure it isn't being used for spam, and that is it. I only have it to access news groups and you have to sign up for it to get anywhere with a lot of organizations who force you to do it.

        Its a miserable strong arm job; and my clients are getting tired of unchecking "Yahoo!" toolbars every time they install something!
        JCitizen
  • I don't see any similarity between...

    Yahoo and Google. I use Yahoo for newsgroups and industrial contacts; and Google for everything else.

    I spend a LOT of time on Google. She may be right about the lenght of stay on one sight, but when I visit a hundred of sites for five minutes a day, that is over 8 hours I spend on one kind or another Google link on average.
    JCitizen