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Yahoo Shakes Things Up 73

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-aren't-the-only-ones dept.
PreacherTom writes "Growing strife inside Yahoo! has erupted into a sweeping management and organizational shakeup. CEO Terry Semel announced yesterday that the company will be reordered into three groups: one to focus on advertisers and publishers, another to focus on Yahoo!'s base of over 500 million users, and a third on technology and development. While Semel denies layoffs are in the future, there will be replacements in the upper echelon for the world's most popular website. The changes, the most extensive at Yahoo in more than five years, cap months of speculation about how it would respond to slowing sales growth, a slumping stock price, and a steady stream of executive departures in the past year."
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Yahoo Shakes Things Up

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  • Yahoo is in trouble (Score:5, Interesting)

    by filenavigator (944290) * on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @09:04AM (#17128298) Homepage
    I think Yahoo has been coasting for years. If my website logs are a reflection of their popularity they are in big trouble. Google beats them at a rate of 100 to 1. On top of that their version of 'adwords' is the worst I have seen (From an ad buyer's perspective). It takes days for them to approve the ad (Google takes minutes) Then when they do approve it they change the wording - usually done by a non native English speaker! I have had my software adverts changed to include the word warez. WAREZ! They need to clean house or they will need to fire more until they do.

    Steve Wiseman
    http://www.windows-admin-tools.com [windows-admin-tools.com]
    • by eln (21727) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @09:14AM (#17128466) Homepage
      You're right that Yahoo is in trouble, but this looks like a panic move that won't really change much. They don't know what to do, they only know something drastic has to be done. So, they throw out the executives they don't like, and shuffle the others around. As each executive takes over their new role, they will have massive layoffs in order to "streamline" the business, but they still won't really know what that business is.

      Yahoo has spent too much time accumulating services that are not "best of breed" by any means, but are simply reactions to the offerings of others. They don't even really know what kind of company they want to be, or even what business they're in (other than "the web"), and until they figure that out, they're going to continue to flail madly while they spiral down the drain.
      • They don't know what to do, they only know something drastic has to be done. So, they throw out the executives they don't like, and shuffle the others around.

        That's pretty common in business. The last thing you want to be accused of as an exec is being passive in the face of danger, and so any action is better than none (which is arguably true!). Sometimes reorganization - even aimless reorganization - is the one tool you have in your box, and the adage about everything looking like a nail when all you have
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @09:14AM (#17128476)
      I clicked all around your site, and I couldn't find the warez. No cracked Vista, no Photoshop ISOs, nothing! I'm severely disappointed, and I'm suing you for false advertising.
    • by DoorFrame (22108)
      Man, if only your site really had Warez I'd spend all my time there. Those Yahoo guys are marketing genuises.
    • by badasscat (563442) <`basscadet75' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @10:26AM (#17129852)
      If my website logs are a reflection of their popularity they are in big trouble. Google beats them at a rate of 100 to 1.

      Yahoo is a lot more than just search. Google is too, but the point is your web site results are not reflective of Yahoo's business as a whole. While they do want a bigger piece of the search advertising pie, I don't think even they really consider search their core business anymore. (It never really was to begin with; they were always more of a directory than a search company, though they've tried to change that in recent years.)

      All you need to do is go to Yahoo's web site and then go to Google's web site to see their different business models.

      Just for one example, though, I bought my house through Yahoo Real Estate, which partnered with Prudential in my area to give local online real estate listings. Google has no such thing (even though with Google Maps, it would seem a natural fit). Yahoo has many facets like this that you probably don't even realize.
      • Yahoo has many facets like this that you probably don't even realize.

        Neither do I nor many others. So?

        Maybe their facets aren't that interesting for most people...
        ...or they hide them in more facets
        ...or their products aren't that good
        ...or don't have the right timing
        ...or what ever.

        Take it how you want, they are having a problem somewhere and not being a search company anymore might be one part of it.

    • by DeadboltX (751907)
      Well think of the bright side, you may have gotten more hits from people looking for warez...
      Since they could not find any on the first page, you may have gotten subsequent page hits while they scour your site for download links.
    • You are right there. The discussion groups have a lot of no-brain people posting messages. Sometimes when you post something worthwhile, your post doesn't take. Sometimes the discussion groups don't work. News articles are a day late and several dollars short, of not outdated. If you don't use a Windows based PC, you are SOL and half the stuff, if not more, just doesn't work. Support for problems are non-existent. Searching returns useless junk. I'm surprised they still in existence.
  • In related news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by denebian devil (944045) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @09:07AM (#17128350)
    In related news, Yahoo also makes sweeping changes to their site design, leading to buggy site behavior, slower load times, and general unrest among Yahoo's populace.
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      I was about to post the same complaint. A while back I had to give up using Yahoo's finance page because it's no longer usable, and last weekend they buggered up the TV listings too, so they take forever to load (30+ seconds on broadband?!!) and then they only halfway work. (I'm now using the NYTimes TV listings, which are still FAST and PLAIN and FUNCTIONAL, and even have a text-only option.)

      I'm expecting Yahoo's Movies section to get unusable next.

      And last time I tried to access the "old" Yahoo mail, I co
  • http://tv.yahoo.com/listings;_ylt=Av10rj4CcfmHR7cY IFFvYySAo9EF [yahoo.com]

    Beta??? This came out two weeks ago. It is *SLOW*.

    I went to AOL!TV instead.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bill Dimm (463823)
      Yeah, and they've gotten tons of feedback on it [yahoo.com] in their own blog. I gave up on them and switched to AOL TV [aol.com] too. I've never used AOL for anything before. Go figure.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by roaddemon (666475)
        Ditto, I absolutely can't believe that got released to production. I've been using tv.yahoo.com for years now and had to switch when they "upgraded". It seems that they are throwing changes at the wall now just to see what will stick.
      • Me Too </AOL>

        I discovered tv.com is good. And I also discovered excite.com has a great tv listing! Too bad they don't let you store your settings (maybe they do if you have an account with them, but I didn't want to do that).

        It's a shame. The Yahoo TV listings used to be the best. Of course, so did their mapping before google maps became so amazing. Maybe we'll get lucky and soon get tv.google.com...
    • by Jzor (982679)
      Have you tried MeeVee [meevee.com]?
      I've been using this site for a little while.
      • by coats (1068)
        I've tried it and I don't like it: their page is a piece of pure-Javascript shit that isn't readable (fonts don't fit into the table fields -- for both Firefox/Windows and Mozilla(SeaMonkey)/Linux) and doesn't follow any of the user-interface stuff I expect (mouse wheel doesn't work, nor do CONTROL-PLUS nor CONTROL-MINUS to try to fix the font size).

        TV Guide's listing do OK for SeaMonkey/Linux but just hang and don't deliver anything on my wife's Firefox/Windows machine.

        Sorry. At this point, the New

        • by Jzor (982679)
          I am looking at MeeVee right now and the fonts all fit, mousewheel works and resizing the fonts work also. The little pop-overs that come up when you click the show title works too. Everything works using Firefox on Windows. :)
      • MeeVee advances to the hour ahead. Not for me. I want the hour behind.

        E.G. 9:43AM. I want the 9AM listings, not the 10AM listings.
        • by Jzor (982679)
          It is 11:50 AM here and I am seeing the listings for 11:00 AM currently.
  • by Dareth (47614) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @09:10AM (#17128398)
    I mean this is the one company you know for a fact is run by a bunch of "Yahoos"!
    • Maybe they should relaunch their website as Houyhnhnm.com. I am sure it would be much more peaceful and rational than a company run by a bunch of yahoos.
      • ... let the rest of us now how to pronounce Houyhnhnm.com ?

        Feared!
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        Given the recent defunctionalization of many of their sites (finance, TV, mail) methinks "Yahoo.com" is the PERFECT name for them :/

        Tho give 'em a couple more years to finish cutting themselves down to size, and "Lilliputian.com" may be more appropriate.

  • Beholden to its investors, Yahoo can't push through hard times with grit and wisdom. It must bow to its ever-fluctuating market value and carve itself into living and dead tissue like a wolf caught in a trap. To emerge from a downturn is to have rent itself into a skeleton of its original physique, and the remaining body is less able to handle the next downturn, especially as those dips never stop coming for a flailing company.

    In private hands the company leaders may be indulged to take risks that a public
  • by malsdavis (542216) *
    base of over 500 million users


    right, 500 million unique users? I'm surprised they didn't claim to still be the world's most popular search engine, surely they would with those figures.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by X (1235)

      right, 500 million unique users? I'm surprised they didn't claim to still be the world's most popular search engine, surely they would with those figures.

      That's a real number. Yahoo actually has some fairly strict auditing process for calculating those numbers. Why doesn't this make them the most popular search engine? The reasons are many:

      • Many of Yahoo's visitors are using services other than search (I believe the home page, mail, and my yahoo service all have more visitors, not to mention all the other se
    • 500 million is not unreasonable if you count every im/spam/porn bot as a unique, then i would have figured their number of "users" is acutally in the billions.
  • by organgtool (966989) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @09:28AM (#17128694)
    The problem is that they try to offer too many services and can't dedicate enough resources to keep those features growing. Therefore, other companies who focus on one only service that competes with Yahoo can do a better job of catering to their users. I have used several of Yahoo's services for a few years and I have watched competing services expand to provide more features than Yahoo. It's not that Yahoo's services are bad - their competitors are simply growing faster since they only focus on one service.

    Oddly enough, I have found Yahoo's search to be more accurate than Google for certain topics. Google has always been great when doing narrow searches and it used to be pretty good at wide searches too, but lately I have been finding that I need to go through several pages to find what I am looking for on a wide Google search. I got fed up with this, so I tried Yahoo search and I was pleasantly surprised. Yahoo seems to consistently provide the results I look for within the first few entries. I'm not saying that Yahoo search is better than Google, but it seems like Google doesn't appear to be the magic bullet that it used to be.
  • Example of a company completely taken over and ruined by marketing dweebs. Whoever is responsible for this train wreck needs to hang: The 9 [yahoo.com]
  • by rlp (11898) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @09:42AM (#17128970)
    A new CEO is starting work. He walks into his new office, and the old CEO that he's replacing is packing up his stuff. The former CEO wishes his successor well and hands him three numbered envelopes which contain the solutions to any serious management problems.

    After about six months, the stock slumps. The new CEO opens the first envelope. It says "Blame your predecessor". He holds a press conference and confidence in the company is restored.

    Another six months pass and another crisis arises. He opens the second envelope. It says "Reorganize the company". He does so and the crisis passes.

    After a year, things are terrible. The stock price is in a downward spiral. The CEO opens the third envelope. It says "Go get three envelopes ...".
  • I hope the changes mean that they will start listing to their site users. They mangled tv.yahoo.com recently, and received plenty of feedback [yahoo.com] about it. I wrote to them years ago pointing out that their finance section really needs to have an option for graphing "adjusted price" (which they do list in their historic table, so they clearly have the data) or "growth of a $1000 investment" to smooth out the jumps from dividends and capital gains distributions that have no economic meaning, but nothing ever ha
  • Where do they come up with this 500 million users rubbish? If Yahoo has that many than I would guesstimate that Google has 1.8 billion users, closing in on 6 billion very fast. But whatever, last time I went to yahoo to get some email, it was very difficult to actually find the "mail" link... it's so cluttered with media & celebrity bullshit.. a painful experience.
    • by X (1235)

      Where do they come up with this 500 million users rubbish? If Yahoo has that many than I would guesstimate that Google has 1.8 billion users, closing in on 6 billion very fast.

      Yes, that makes sense. Surely Google has more people than actually use the Internet.... ;-)

      Seriously, Yahoo is rated (by third parties) as having more traffic than any other site (the home page used to be #1, by has been eclipsed by MySpace, and yes, that means both get more traffic than Google's home page). Most of Yahoo's services a

  • What is it? There's a generic appeal to working for web companies like Yahoo and Google, but there's a specific appeal to some of them, like putting out new projects, working on your interests, so on. I see Yahoo as having shared the generic appeal of those company types in the past and now they feel more second tier, both to users and to jobseekers. If you aren't appealing as more than just a job in the field, it's going to be hard to get the people that can really help you be innovative, flexible and f
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @11:07AM (#17130638)
      I work for Yahoo! (note the "!" :) ).

      Judging the appeal of a company based on the CEO (or even the top management) is like judging the ride of a car by looking at the hood ornament.

      Yahoo! is a great place to work. We may not have officially sanctioned "20% time off" policies, but there's a lot of freedom to find your own calling.

      Tomorrow (Thursday) is an internal "Hack Day", and Yahoo!s all over the world will be churning out interesting/cool projects in an informal competition. It's loads of fun.

      The biggest advantage of Yahoo! as an employer is that there is such a wide variety of projects to work on. You want to work on a project doing, say, TV on a mobile device? I'm sure there's a group working on that.

      • The hood ornament analogy is very bad.

        Like it or not, the execs control the fate of the company much more than the workers. The CEO can single handedly ruin the company - a single foot soldier cannot - this is why the person at the top gets paid the big bucks.

        The key for the execs is to bring all of that coolness you describe into alignment with business goals - which is easier said than done.
      • by poopie (35416)
        We may not have officially sanctioned "20% time off" policies, but there's a lot of freedom to find your own calling.

        Tomorrow (Thursday) is an internal "Hack Day", and Yahoo!s all over the world will be churning out interesting/cool projects in an informal competition. It's loads of fun.

        Perfect example of what is wrong with Yahoo! This reads like something out of 2000 during the dot com boom -- not 2006.

        20% time off?!?! How about 20% pay cut?
  • It used to be easy to get TV listings from Yahoo. They just changed it so that you need to be signed into an account to get them.

    The TV listings were the last reason I had to go use Yahoo, which is sad in a way as I used to be a big fan of almost everything they did before they went all corporate.
  • I was a Yahoo email and messenger user for years - because there were no decent alternatives to many of the services they offer.

    Till GMAIL introduced the increased storage limits the yahoos who run Yahoo was sleeping. The interface of Yahoo Mail is the worst. The standard webmail interface of my company is better designed.

    The Yahoo messenger in its default installed state is a classic example of a cluttered bloated design. Plus why should I see an annoying flash ad in the bottom pane? At least put a t
    • by X (1235)

      Till GMAIL introduced the increased storage limits the yahoos who run Yahoo was sleeping. The interface of Yahoo Mail is the worst. The standard webmail interface of my company is better designed.

      I think it's fair to say that the gmail move caught everyone by surprise. That said Yahoo responded with increased limits within a month (which is very impressive if you consider they had to scale up to *100 million users* having that increased storage in that time, while gmail still doesn't have to worry about tha

  • Can Yahoo really catch up with Google? Perhaps they waited too long to do this. Right now they need to do their own thing and try to do something that Google isn't.
  • I worked at Yahoo for a year, in the Media Group. While the departure of Lloyd Braun is a step in the right direction for the Media Group at least, it is not enough to solve Yahoo's problems. The technology leaders at Yahoo, starting with Farzad Nazeem and including others such as Phu Hoang, provide no leadership. There is no organized approach to development, just a bunch of people randomly creating product. The lead technologists think PHP is a good language. Worse than that, the ineptitude of the technic

  • No Layoffs? (Score:3, Funny)

    by hondo77 (324058) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:38PM (#17132654) Homepage

    Layoffs, which at least one Yahoo executive had called for, are not in the plans.

    Yahoo! also announced that they expect to overtake Google, in both market share and profitability, later this month thanks to their new strategic partnership with Santa Claus. An expected deal with the Easter Bunny should enhance their second quarter results.

  • You cant have good result if you allow paid to include. Paid result cant provide good quality (if they are good, you should find it in first place). If you want to monetize, just use sponsor links.
  • I have been a Yahoo email user for at least 7 years (or very close to that, I just can't remember).

    Somehow my Inbox got screwed and that started a voyage of pain I wish not in my worst enemy.

    Basically every person that replied to me thought either:

    a) I was computer illiterate.
    b) I was an idiot.

    the tone of the messages was patronizing to the extreme and nobody seemed to be prepared to engage in trying to solve the issue.

    Their last message basically confirmed that I am derranged:

    > Thank you for writing to

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