Yahoos are starting to fight back.
And why shouldn't Yahoos fight back. The reaction to Yahoo's reorg was arguably overdone. The consensus: The reorg didn't go far enough. Allegedly inside accounts portray mass dysfunction. CEO Terry Semel should have gotten the boot. Yahoo is no Google (who is?) yadda yadda yadda. Perhaps it's time to call a little BS based on what Yahoo insiders are saying.
BS 1: Semel has lost his mojo. It's hard to believe Semel is capable of rallying the troops judging from earnings conference calls, but he apparently has fired up the Yahoo army. The Yahoo insider Jonathan Strauss posted this transcript on his blog.
"So, I'm probably breaking a ton of rules by doing this. But, f@$k it! Here is the transcript, verbatim (I rewound the webcast several times just to get it right), of Terry's closing comments at today's re-org all-hands:
"At the next all-hands. Just as a reminder. I'm sorry I didn't do it today. I'm gonna put up there all of the press reports on how Yahoo! was going out of business 5 years ago. And of how we were gonna be swallowed up by AOL, owned by Time-Warner, and by Microsoft, and by everybody else. And Yahoo! looked like it had a dim future. Well those headlines, of course, were used to wrap a lot of fish in a lot of people's houses, as the expression goes. And they were all full of shit, and they had no idea what we had planned for them. And they do not now as well!
So, we could read about how I'm gonna join some retirement home. And we could read about how the company doesn't have a vision. And we could read about how we can't do this and we can't do that. Trust me, they will be as full of shit this time as they were last time."
BS 2: The "inside story" of how the news broke. It played out a bit differently than Tom Foremski reported. Foremski had Yahoo releasing the news after a spat with the Wall Street Journal, which was briefed a bit and given a heads up. What really happened? The Yahoo reorg story was offered to the Journal and the paper declined an embargo. However, TechCrunch, which was getting live reports from Yahoo's internal meeting outlining the reorg, is the news service that forced Yahoo's hand.
BS 3: Yahoo can't close the Google gap. Ok, the Panama Project is late, but improving. Will that solve all the paid search woes at Yahoo? No. But remember all that is Google--including a deal with BSkyB yesterday--is seen through rose colored glasses. If Yahoo did the BSkyB deal would it have looked as wonderful? Didn't think so. This gap won't last forever. Google will hit its tailspin as paid search advertising ultimately slows and battle hardened Yahoo will rebound from its latest crisis to close the gap between the two. Bottom line: Both companies are taking a different approach to advertising, but it's not a zero sum game contrary to current thinking. Having multiple revenue streams still counts for something.