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Yahoo! still doesn’t get it …

September 12, 2011

OK, so Carol Bartz is gone.  Interestingly, I was watching the story unfold on the BBC website and within six hours of her firing being top news, she had slipped to an “also ran” position.  Twenty four hours later, she wasn’t on the BBC website anymore.

Gone in 24 hours …

But the Yahoo board still doesn’t seem to get the message: they need to hire expertise, and not certificates (The Fifth Sutra).  And their choice of even an interim CEO … Tim Morse … could be a disaster even worse than the way they handled Bartz’s departure.

Tim Morse’s brief bio is here, but I wanted to share it with you all: highlights mine.

Mr. Morse became our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in July 2009. Previously, Mr. Morse served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Altera Corporation, a semiconductor company specializing in programmable logic devices for communications, industrial, and consumer applications, from January 2007 to June 2009. Prior to joining Altera, Mr. Morse held various positions in financial management with General Electric (GE), a diversified technology, media and financial services company, starting in the GE Capital division in 1991 and moving to the GE Appliances division in 1994 before joining the GE Plastics division in 1997. In July 2005, Mr. Morse was named the Chief Financial Officer and General Manager, Business Development for GE Plastics. Mr. Morse holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Operations/Strategic Management from Boston College.

Do we need to discuss this any more?  Well, perhaps: yes.

On the Yahoo website, you can see that Tim Morse is responsible for “managing Yahoo!’s day-to-day operations until a permanent chief executive is appointed, as well as the company’s finance, investor relations, and mergers and acquisitions groups“.  Suddenly, its not such a surprise any more, given the contentious board that Yahoo has.

Why does Snoop Dogg figure when I searched for Timothy Morse Yahoo?
.. still doesn’t explain why Snoop Dogg figured when I searched for “Timothy Morse Yahoo” ..

There is talk that Ross Levinsohn could be the next CEO of Yahoo.  He’s certainly better qualified for the job: he is the former President of Fox Interactive Media, the internet and new media arm of News Corporation, where he directly reported to Rupert Murdoch.  The scary part is that he’s been with Yahoo for less than a year (November 2010 onward), but perhaps less scary than hiring someone who is totally inward focused (a finance guy) to manage what Yahoo needs now: someone who can help Yahoo develop an identity and sell that to employees, advertisers, partners and consumers. Yahoo has some great piece parts—messaging used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide; a sports brand that stands apart from other web properties and strong content plays in news and finance.

What the Yahoo board needs to do is to find someone who has the vision to combine all those pieces into a true “digital media” leader that Yahoo could be.   There have been many names tossed about: this article discusses them here: but in my opinion, its time that the board truly comes together to find someone who can restore Yahoo’s glory days.

Or perhaps they have already made up their minds that they will follow the Tenth Sutra: I will remember there is always another ocean to dive.  In this case, a pity.  A real pity.

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