Bartz to Yahoo shareholders: Change is coming; We're not Google

Bartz to Yahoo shareholders: Change is coming; We're not Google

Summary: Yahoo's Carol Bartz took the stage at her first annual shareholder's meeting as CEO this morning. The first half of the meeting was business as usual, specifically votes on the re-election of board members and other official business facing the board.

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Yahoo's Carol Bartz took the stage at her first annual shareholder's meeting as CEO this morning. The first half of the meeting was business as usual, specifically votes on the re-election of board members and other official business facing the board. It wasn't until about halfway through the meeting that the main event - Bartz' presentation and Q&A - started.

Before questions, Bartz addressed the one big question that continues to surface: a deal with Microsoft on the search business. The official Bartz-esque answer: "If we ever have a deal with Microsoft, it will be announced publicly. Until we do, there's nothing to say."

Interestingly enough, Bartz was congratulated by a shareholder who stood before the microphone for finally diverting the attention away from a deal with Microsoft, which dominated headlines in recent months. He said the coverage was "embarrassing for the company, highly embarrassing... so thank you very much."

She also tackled a question about Yahoo's competitive position against Google. Bottom line, she said: Google and Yahoo are different companies with different models. Google, she said, is "basically a pure search company... We're selling the complete view."

Yahoo, she said, "is the largest online media company, powered by fantastic technology." Yahoo is the place where people come for the valuable information in their lives - mail, messaging, search, sports news, financial news, entertainment news. In fact, she said, 12 percent of online time in the U.S. is spent on a Yahoo property.

"We are not Google," she said. "We only have part of our business that does what they do." To directly compare the two is "not fair for Yahoo and frankly not relevant."

Next question, please.

Bartz was also grilled about China, specifically censorship and human rights violations there, a long-running point of controversy following Yahoo's years-ago role in providing identifiable information about Pro-democracy writers in China who were later jailed. While Bartz said she and the company are very committed to doing what's right in terms of protecting human rights, she was also quick to note - quite frankly - that "it is not our job to fix the Chinese government. It's that simple."

"We respect human rights. We do what's right but we are not going to take on every government in the world as our mandate. That's not the mandate that shareholders have given us," she said.

Finally, Bartz - who earlier in the discussion had a friendly exchange with a shareholder over the overload of entertainment news on Yahoo pages - was asked whether this was the right time for Yahoo to buy or invest in newspapers, potentially as a means of bringing in more news-like content.

The short answer is no. It's not necessary to buy newspapers. Newspapers, like many other industries, need to rethink their business models. For now, Yahoo is happy to partner with them on advertising and content-sharing.

As for what's ahead, Bartz said they are looking at everything - from a modernization of Mail to a re-design and customization of the home page to shutting down, repairing or outsourcing other Yahoo properties that may have fallen by the wayside over the years and could leave the visitor with a bad taste for the overall property.

There's a lot of work left to do. Bartz said the company knows its vision but has had a problem with execution. She recognizes it, she said. And they're working on it.

Topics: Banking, Enterprise Software, Google, Government, Government US, Legal, Social Enterprise

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11 comments
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  • Buy Buy Buy

    "The short answer is no. It?s not necessary to buy newspapers. Newspapers, like many other industries, need to rethink their business models. For now, Yahoo is happy to partner with them on advertising and content-sharing."

    I'd be looking to go the other way - especially if I were a newspaper. The business model the newspapers must move to is entirely online. The overlap with YAHOO's news and advertising is massive.

    As Yahoo I'd be looking to absorb all the quality papers and their best people ... and trim the rest of the operation. Indeed I'd be looking to become a mega, legal superset version of TPB.

    I wonder too whether there could be such a thing as a 'local newspaper template' - a collaborative version of Wordpress where a community could build up bits and pieces which were published electronically periodically.

    A strange decision not to buy in view of the declaration ... "Yahoo is the place where people come for the valuable information in their lives - mail, messaging, search, sports news, financial news, entertainment news."

    Perhaps Yahoo are waiting for the price to drop further ;-)
    jacksonjohn
    • I've got what Yahoo needs...

      <i>As Yahoo I'd be looking to absorb all the quality papers and their best people ... and trim the rest of the operation. Indeed I'd be looking to become a mega, legal superset version of TPB.</i>

      I've been developing a system that could serve to replace the news and information being done by newspapers and magazines and TV/radio web sites, and blogs. It's all-encompassing and comprehensive. Whatever Yahoo has now for news and information, my system will do much better. A Yahoo with my system would take away a massive amount of traffic from Google or from Microsoft or from any other news and information source.

      adornoe
  • RE: Bartz to Yahoo shareholders: Change is coming; We're not Google

    Yahoo...is the best

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    tour2009
  • Too bad they don't watch the whole product line better.

    "Yahoo for UK & Ireland" seems totally focused on England. Only time a news item from Scotland, Wales, or any part of Ireland makes the news on it is when the item makes the news for the whole world.

    And the 'news items' seem like something that would be better suited for The Sun, Weekly World News or Fox News. LOL
    mattohare@...
    • Cute, but dumb....

      <i>And the 'news items' seem like something that would be better suited for The Sun, Weekly World News or Fox News.</i>
      <br><br>
      Isn't it about time that people like you got their heads out of the sand?

      Their are some very good reasons that news outlets such as FOX are far outdistancing their competition. Yet, there are so many people who prefer to walk around blind than to face the reality that, perhaps, most of the people prefer FOX for very good reasons. Making blanket statements such as you did above with no substance to back them up should be left for the cowardly and the clueless. Wake up and take the blinders off. Living in a fantasy world is best left to little children.
      adornoe
      • The very good reason...

        The reason people like Fox is because it tells them what they want to hear... instead of truth. Pure and simple. Bigotry chow.
        Metronome49
  • RE: Bartz to Yahoo shareholders: Change is coming; We're not Google

    No, its not for Yahoo "to fix the Chinese government" but clearly they are NOT "very committed to doing what?s right in terms of protecting human rights", this much is obvious.

    At some point, we as individual investors must decide if this is an acceptable practice for an American company to be participating in. Personally, I will not invest in Yahoo stock because their actions (with the Chineese goverment) is simply unAmerican and wrong. Many many thousands of American soldiers have lost their lives fighting to protect people's human rights. I believe its our buisnesses and corporation's responsiblity to fight for those rights as well, not on a battlefield but in the boardroom.



    smo06
    • I agree, but I think technology is winning..

      on the side of freedom; especially in the story I read here the other day about the new service being downloaded all over Iran that uses VPN and other obfuscation techniques to keep the Iranian Government from discovering where freedom fighters are going on the internet, what they are looking at, and what they are saying.

      This software also works in China! Freedom wins everytime!
      JCitizen
  • RE: Cute but dumb

    The innovation of Fox is to tell a large group of people what they want to hear, whether it is true or not. People are more comfortable hearing confirmations of their preconceived notions rather than having those ideas challenged and where they may actually have to alter their views. The thought of black and white is a lot more comfortable than the reality of shades of grey. "Talking Points" with multiple stories on the same theme during the day is effective to confirm the message of the day. I can't say I have too much problem with this, if people want to put on blinders to the whole story, that's their choice. I do take exception to the continual deception, though, of call it "fair and balanced". When someone out and out continuously tells a lie (like this tag line) it is insulting and tend to turn the channel. With the success of Fox, now others are following. MSNBC is basically the left-handed Fox. I don't think much of them either, for the same reasons.
    grsmith317
    • Where is the word "Fox" in this article?...

      Seems like anytime someone starts whinning about Rupert's cove, it turns out they're nuts!

      Besides - we all know they are bunch of liars on Fox; we like that - better to counter all the lies told on MSNBC, ABC, and CBS - which owns ZDNet by the way.
      JCitizen
    • No thinking or truth in your post...


      <i>The innovation of Fox is to tell a large group of people what they want to hear, whether it is true or not.</i>

      That?s pure nonsense and you know it.

      Nobody stays tuned to TV news or radio news or even the written news if what they are going to get is what they want to hear. If you are that way, then you don?t like to use your brain at all. People don?t turn on the news to be entertained. People who watch the news shows are there because they want to be informed and they want to hear varying opinions. Otherwise, they?ll turn their TV sets to the latest reality show, of which there are plenty.

      Most people who are thinkers and adults can handle the truth or even the lies. The difference is that, an adult who is well-informed and intelligent knows the difference between the lies and the truth. If a news source is of the sort where all that you get are talking points or the liberal or conservative viewpoints, chances are that the people will get tired and bored of the propaganda and turn elsewhere. Yet, FOX continues to have huge ratings for a cable news network. You can?t lie to that kind of audience or they?ll move elsewhere just like they did when they left CNN and MSNBC and the other networks.

      And, turning elsewhere is what?s happened in the last 12 years when the CNN and MSNBC and ABC and NBC and CBS audience got tired of the same liberal lies and democratic talking points being fed to them as news. Intelligent adults are smart enough to realize when they?re being had or lied to. The liberal media is paying a very heavy price for taking their audience for granted and believing that their audience wouldn?t be able to discern between truth and lies, and between talking points and the real news.

      However, there are still people out there who are in denial and will pretend that the liberal media is losing audience just because people like being fed what they want to hear from outlets such as FOX and conservative radio. That kind of thinking is absolute garbage!

      <i> People are more comfortable hearing confirmations of their preconceived notions rather than having those ideas challenged and where they may actually have to alter their views. </i>

      Again, pure, unadulterated garbage!

      While there is no doubt that people tend to migrate towards like-minded people and like-minded views, the intelligent people won?t stay around too long just to hear their views confirmed or reflected back at them. People like to hear the news and the analysis. If all that a person is looking for is an eternal love-fest, be it of the liberal kind or the conservative kind, people eventually are turned off and will tune away. The loss of audience by CNN and MSNBC and ABC and CBS and NBC are proof positive of that point. Those are facts which those liberal stations are in denial about. And those are facts which you are also in denial about. And they will excuse their losses by trying to denigrate the winning station?s audience.

      <i>The thought of black and white is a lot more comfortable than the reality of shades of grey.</i>

      Black and white cannot be equated to true or false. When the truth or a fact can be told with simplicity, then there is no need to complicate things. However, there are often too many instances where the democrats and the liberal press will unnecessarily complicate matters just so they can confuse the ?simple-minded? to think that the democrats and the liberal press will take care of things for them. For example, some issues, such as cap-and-trade, global warming, and nationalized health care are issues where the democrats don?t want the people to know the truth. They make those issues sound so complicated that the little people will just throw their hands up and leave it to the congress and the liberal press to handle things. But, every issue out there can be explained in simple terms and with simple truths. But, that?s would be counterproductive to the tactics and goals of the democrats.

      Oftentimes, the simple facts are more true than a fact that has been bastardized by ?nuances?. Why do people need to complicate matters when the simple truth is enough?

      However, like I explained previously, most people are intelligent enough and informed enough to know when they are being lied to, and when that happens, the ?liars? lose the people to whom they are preaching. Again, that?s why FOX and others are pulling audiences away from the liberal networks or outlets. The only audience which the liberals are retaining are the die-hard liberals and those who are in denial about what?s happening all around them.

      <i> "Talking Points" with multiple stories on the same theme during the day is effective to confirm the message of the day.</i>

      Here again, you?re lying to yourself.

      You?re not even capable of distinguishing between ?talking points? and the truth and facts.

      If there are any stations using ?talking points?, it is the liberal stations, such as CNN and MSNBC and the other liberal networks. In fact, those liberal stations do nothing but advocate for the liberal positions from the democrats and the president. They?ve admitted it themselves many times. And, their reporters are admittedly in the tank for the liberals and the president. Nobody who is a reporter should be an advocate for positions from the president or the congress. The purpose of a journalist is to report the truth and to be confrontational when the need arises. So far, the liberal press, which is most of the mainstream media, is in full defense mode for the president and the liberal congress.

      <i> I can't say I have too much problem with this, if people want to put on blinders to the whole story, that's their choice.</i>

      It?s quite apparent that even you can?t recognize who has the blinders on. If you were to have any kind of honesty about you, then you?d recognize the truth without having to have it explained to you in detail. Here?s a hint: open up your mind to different points of view. Once you are able to do that you might find yourself questioning how you could?ve been so blind for so long. I used to be just like you. I was a liberal for a very long time, but I found myself more and more questioning how it was that what I was seeing around me was quite different from the lies that were being fed to me by the democrats and the liberal press. I could no longer continue in denial and decided to confront the truth and the facts and started examining what it was that I truly felt and believed and I examined those feelings and beliefs against what I was doing as a democrat. Needless to say, I came upon a huge reality check and found myself actually more in agreement with conservative beliefs than with the liberal views which I thought represented me.

      It?s actually not very hard to open up your mind and to question everything. Try it and you?ll be surprised yourself about what you?ll discover.

      <i> I do take exception to the continual deception, though, of call it "fair and balanced".</i>

      Why is it so hard to understand the ?fair and balanced? mantra of FOX news? As a matter of fact, every station, liberal or conservative or in-between should have that as their mantra. However, it should not be enough to just have that as a mantra. It should also be practiced. And when it comes to practicing what they preach, FOX does live up to their mantra. It is by far the most ?fair? and the most ?balanced? when it comes to reporting and commentaries and representation of all sides of the arguments. Most polls conducted regarding ?fairness and balance? have FOX on top. Whenever a point or new item is to be discussed, FOX makes sure that they have equal representation from all sides of the arguments.

      Perhaps you?re having a hard time distinguishing between opinion and news/information. News and information should be able to stand up on its own. Opinions are the different ways of viewing or interpreting the news and information. However, opinion is not news by itself. Opinion can contain news within it but with a slant. News with a slant is where the liberal networks have gone wrong. In the evening, FOX does have more conservative show hosts, but those are opinion and discussion talk shows. During the day, it?s mostly about the news with some discussion interjected. But, in all cases, FOX goes through great pains to make sure that all sides of the arguments are heard and represented. You absolutely cannot say the same for CNN and MSNBC and ABC and CBS and NBC and others.

      <i>When someone out and out continuously tells a lie (like this tag line) it is insulting and tend to turn the channel.</i>

      You?re quite right about that. But, in case you haven?t noticed, who is it that has lost the most audience in the last 10 years or so? That?s right: The lying liberal networks and the lying print press. And, who has gained that audience from the liberal networks? FOX of course. People aren?t stupid. They know when they?re being lied to and the tune away from the liars and the spinners. The people are tuning in to FOX and they?re tuning out the liberal press and the liberal networks. So, buddy, the truth is not on your side.

      <i>With the success of Fox,</i>

      That?s the beginning of the acceptance of truth and the facts.

      <i> now others are following. MSNBC is basically the left-handed Fox.
      I don't think much of them either, for the same reasons.
      </i>

      You haven?t been paying attention. MSNBC has always been heavily left-leaning. It?s not a new thing to them. And MSNBC has been the lowest rated cable news network for the last 10 years. It?s only recently that they?ve overtaken CNN for second place. But, CNN has bounced back. But, for sure, neither CNN nor MSNBC are regaining any audience back from FOX. Those 2 networks haven?t changed much in the last 10 years and they continue being in denial about their slow but certain demise

      There are some people in the liberal press, including the broadcast networks and the print media, who would rather have their news outlets die than to bring ?balance? and ?fairness? to their news and opinion coverage. That being the case: good riddance to them!

      When a network or a news outlet is so biased to the point that they would rather die than to change to keep themselves alive, then they deserve their slow death.

      To many or most of the left wing media outlets, ideology trumps sound business practice. And for that, I welcome their eventual demise or their loss of audience.
      adornoe