Yahoo’s CEO Gamble

Yahoo just replaced Jerry Yang with Carol Bartz the former Autodesk CEO and I am impressed and concerned. Bartz has an excellent resume with honors and awards as long as anyone:

  •      50 Most Powerful Women in Business, Fortune, 2005
  •      50 Women to Watch, Wall Street Journal, 2005
  •      The World’s 30 Most Respected CEOs, Barron’s, 2005
  •      World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Forbes, 2005 & 2004
  •      Exemplary Community Leadership Award, National Conference for Community & Justice, 2004
  •      Women in Technology List, Business Week, 2004
  •      100 Most Influential Women in Business, San Francisco Business Times, 2004
  •      Spirit of Life Award, City of Hope, 2004
  •      Entered into the Congressional Record by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, 2003
  •      Avatar Award for Women of Excellence, National Association of Female Executives, 2003
  •      Ada Lovelace Award, Association for Women in Computing, 2003
  •      Ernst & Young’s Northern California Master Entrepreneur of the Year, 2001
  •      Horatio Alger Award, 2000
  •      Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame, 1997
  •      Recognized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), 1994

She is also known to be able to tame “eccentric” corporate cultures and moreover is good at managing young companies as they grow. She tells it like it is and comes across harsh at times. All of this perfect but what concerns me is that Google is running like a start-up on fire with infinite investment resources and ideas and products coming out of every part of the company.

Yahoo is launching new products and wins as well but hasn’t figured out how to monetize its massive traffic effectively.

What the company really needs is someone who has effectively led a small to medium media company in the last 18 months and understands the needs of advertisers and more importantly how to get them to spend more money with Yahoo. Her resume, while impressive includes Sun and 3M.

Basically zero media experience.

Is this bad? I am not sure. You don’t know how someone meshes into an organization until they take the job.

It is worth mentioning Bartz should be effective at negotiating with other companies and could strike big deals which bring in revenue. From this perspective she has the appropriate resume.

In the end though the company has a goldmine of web traffic and it is shocking that monetizing it effectively is this difficult. I wish her good luck.

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