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Yahoo: a Collection of Disjointed Web Assets

Bambi Francisco's MarketWatch commentary entitled "Yahoo dispels first-mover myth" is a valid assessment of the path that brought the company to its recent reorganization announcement, however, I disagree with her conclusion that the solution requires utilizing the mind of a 'technical' person.

In contrast, I believe that Yahoo is in desperate need of a credible Chief Marketing Officer that can federate the operations of an acquired collection of disjointed web assets that currently receive little benefit from being a part of the larger corporate entity. Furthermore, they need a business leader that can see beyond 'leveraging eyeballs' and 'aggregating users' in their 'captive audience' -- and, certainly beyond tweaking their search algorithms.

FYI, I was an early-adopter and user of the GeoCities platform, one of Yahoo's first big acquisitions, and I've been disappointed by the way that they have mismanaged the raw potential of the user community that they inherited. I also have a user account on Yahoo 360, and numerous other Yahoo web-based services.

Regardless, Yahoo apparently has no awareness of my co-creator investment in their collective web platforms. There is no 'customer' or 'partner' relationship, because I primarily provide them content -- instead of direct revenue. Meaning, my contributions -- and others like mine -- don't receive any meaningful consideration within Yahoo's financial management balance sheet.

Therefore, I ask the obvious question -- is it really likely that their CFO, Sue Decker, has the most appropriate mindset to solve Yahoo's marketing challenges?

In summary, I believe (as many do) that there's still a huge upside potential for Yahoo to fully acknowledge and embrace their 'community' assets. That said, their challenges are no different than any large company that discovers that while size and scale matter, they are no substitute for a business model with a coherent sense of purpose.

Without a collective cause, isn't the Yahoo corporate entity nothing more that a mere 'holding company' for its eclectic investments?

Here is an excerpt from Ms. Francisco's assessment conclusion.
"The bottom line is that Yahoo brought in a Hollywood veteran, Terry Semel, to build a new-media company at a time when search was becoming the dominant way to advertise on the Web and at a time when someone -- perhaps a techie engineer -- was needed to ensure that that was the priority. At Google, it certainly was a priority with three engineers leading the way.

Being a Hollywood guy, Semel was divided and hence not entirely focused on making search a priority. In my opinion, his inability to have one vision and one focus is perhaps one reason why he'll probably have to step down at some point to get Yahoo shareholders and employees excited again.

Semel is and has been focused on rebuilding a virtual Hollywood."

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