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The End of Yahoo: Marissa Mayer To Resign; Yahoo To Change Its Name To Altaba (arstechnica.com) 401

maxcelcat writes: Spotted on The Register's twitter feed: Yahoo! Submission to The SEC. Most of the board is leaving, including CEO Marissa Mayer. The company has been bought by Verizon and is changing its name to Altaba Inc. I'm old enough to remember when Yahoo was a series of directories on a University's computers, where you could browse a hierarchical list of websites by category. And here I am watching the company's demise. According to the regulatory filing, the changes will take place after the sale of its core business is completed with Verizon for roughly $4.8 billion. The Wall Street Journal notes: "Verizon officials have indicated all options remain possible, including renegotiating the terms of the deal or walking away."
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The End of Yahoo: Marissa Mayer To Resign; Yahoo To Change Its Name To Altaba

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  • How much? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Monday January 09, 2017 @09:45PM (#53638519)

    According to the regulatory filing, the changes will take place after the sale of its core business is completed with Verizon for roughly $4.8 billion.

    I'm genuinely surprised it's worth that much.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2017 @09:50PM (#53638553)
  • Yahoo brand (Score:4, Insightful)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @09:52PM (#53638569)
    It is weird they decided to ditch the Yahoo brand, which is one of the last remaining asset (along with customer data).
    • by david.emery ( 127135 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @09:53PM (#53638579)

      I always thought that Yahoo was well-named, a company run by a bunch of Yahoos...

    • Yeah I know right. I've had my Yahoo! email address for over 15 years. I sure hope I get to keep it....even though I seem to get a few snickers when I give it to people. DonkeyPunchMe@Altaba.com just doesn't have the same ring to it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2017 @10:13PM (#53638691)
        same thing happened to the poor guy who had "suckingdownacoolone@home.com" was changed to suckingdownacoolone@cox.net
      • I use the for my junk email address.
        If I have to go to the effort of changing it to altaba.com, I'll just pull the plug on them.
        I'm a paying customer FWIW (didn't want the ads with the email).

    • I still remember, in the old days, arguing via email with a Yahoo curator - trying to convince her to add my little podunk website to their index.

      They really used to matter...

      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        There was a time when my personal home page from college was the #1 entry for duct tape ... for taping myself to a wall and making a bunch of jokes about it. Man, those were heady days.

        How long has it been since they had their slogan, "Do you, uh ... YaHOOOOOO-OOOO?" Feels like just yesterday, but it's probably been more than a decade.

    • It is weird they decided to ditch the Yahoo brand,

      Have they? I thought that the Yahoo brand was one of the assets that they were selling to Verizon.

  • Yabba Dabba Doo! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @09:57PM (#53638601) Journal

    If they paid branding consultants millions to come up with "Altaba", somebody deserves to be beaten black and blue with a briefcase, including the consultants.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @09:58PM (#53638607) Homepage Journal

    This version actually crashed a company permanently!

    • Up next: Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM . . . although . . . they did get a butt-load of patents last year . . . maybe they need to change their name to IPM, International Patents Machines . . .

      • Then Mary Barra (GM) followed by
        Meg Whitman (what's left of HP)

        Great performers here.

      • Re:Carly Fiorina 2.0 (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2017 @11:15PM (#53639081)

        I'm not sure how many have been granted, but I have over 30 patents submitted with IBM. One really good, one ok, and 30+ other pieces of crap. I honestly don't get the point. They're so fluffy they have no teeth or they are just crap. I felt dirty submitting some of them, but the bonus cash was awesome. We would literally watch Sci-fi movies as a group and start calling stuff out for potential patents. Multiple patents are direct rip-offs of things in Minority Report, yea no prior art there. Then we would have brainstorming parties where they would have lists of words like sight, smell, hear, taste, and touch and then they would just yell out things like printer, what about a printer that prints taste, what about one that prints smells, etc, and they would write up a patent for every one. I honestly have no idea how they passed then non-obvious hurdle. They also often lacked a major component, hey we're patenting faster then light travel all I need is a faster then light engine. I'm down to one patent every 18 months, but they're solid things that unfortunately net me a lot less cash.

        • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2017 @02:21PM (#53642919)

          This is really OT, but....
          I worked at Motorola from '93 to '98, and they encouraged patent submissions. Pagers were hot, and they had just come out with their new 2-way pager. I came up with an idea for a middleware application to translate text-to-speech and speech-to-text for people to be able to bridge the gap between pagers and phones. It went to committee, but they passed on it because they didn't see the benefits and thought it wouldn't be cost-effective. I still think about that today... I wouldn't have gotten anything out of it but a few bucks, they would have retained all of the rights anyway. It would have been nice to have my name on something like that as a legacy. Instead, I held onto some stock for 20 years and took a loss on it. :|

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        To be fair to Romety, Palmisano was the one who set a crash course and 'roadmap 2015', got investors pumped and then promptly bailed probably knowing full well there was no realistic plan to deliver what he promised, but now it wouldn't be his fault. A lot of us were saying that Palmisano was nuts when he made that promise, then when he bailed we decided he was being personally very smart and was just setting up the next person to be the fall guy. Rometty stood by the pledge he made longer than she should

  • What... WHAT? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @10:01PM (#53638625)

    "Yahoo" is still an powerful brand name that's decades old.

    Who the hell throws away a household brand name and comes up with a brand new one? That's one of the biggest assets they still had. Yahoo as a brand name, Yahoo News (which tons of women still use as their primary source), and Yahoo e-mail (eww.) That, and of course as the older poster mentioned, their existing customer data. (Which everyone has now, hint hint, wink wink.)

    Altaba? I mean, what is that? People are going to confuse it with "Alibaba."

    • by MouseR ( 3264 )

      So, was customer data really hacked or sold away?

    • Re:What... WHAT? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @10:09PM (#53638659)

      They are telegraphing their business plan.

      The Yahoo name is worth about as much as AOL's name. Fuckall. A way of painting 'I'm clueless, please abuse me' on your account.

      But Yahoo owns 20% of Alibaba. Yahoo could greatly increase their value by just becoming an Americanized version of Alibaba, competing with Amazon but with 100% chinese made knockoffs and junk (rather than 50%).

    • > Altaba? I mean, what is that? People are going to confuse it with "Alibaba."

      With Verizon buying Yahoo mail, Yahoo news, etc., the remains of the company will just be their Alibaba stock, which is already their primary asset. Buying Altaba *is* buying Alibaba, with one step of indirection. It's how you buy Alibaba stock if you want to (on paper) own a US company.

    • Maybe "Aba" is an ancient Scandinavian word meaning Right. If so, apparently the new brand already has a bunch of followers.
    • Yahoo! the name is the only thing worth over a billion dollars. Everything else Yahoo does is done better by someone else. Hell the only reason I can even think of why Verizon is buying Yahoo and not use the name is so they can finally get their customers off of the Yahoo Experience Email Clusterfuck they put their customers into almost a decade ago.

      It's like buying the Dead Corpse of Seabiscuit for a billion dollars and renaming it Sparkle Princess.

    • Altaba? I mean, what is that? People are going to confuse it with "Alibaba."

      BING was also a surprise to everyone, and look how well it did

    • Who the hell throws away a household brand name and comes up with a brand new one?

      Lots of people! And it's usually stupid.

      Nokia for example. They (at the time) had one of the most well recognised brands in the world, up there with Coca-Cola. For some reason they decided to rebrand a bunch of my stuff as "Ovi" like "Ovi maps". Guess how effective that was...

      Oh and then there was Consignia. Remember them if you're British? No of course not. It was an abortive attempt to rebrand the most high profile brand in

  • Yahoo brand (Score:5, Informative)

    by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @10:05PM (#53638637) Homepage

    I think everybody's jumping the gun here. What's left of Yahoo after the sale -- which will basically just be an investment holding company -- will change its name to Altbaba. I see no reason why Verizon wouldn't continue to operate Yahoo's core web businesses under the Yahoo brand. To not do so sounds like a tremendous waste of money.

    • Wish I had some mod points. You seem to be the only one who actually understands wtf is happening here.

    • Yahoo users are fools. The only value is in the bookmarks. So keep the domains and redirect them to the new site.

      How much do you think the AOL name is worth? Yahoo is no different.

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        AOL is a bit different, most of their properties don't use AOL in their name. On the other hand most of the core Yahoo properties do, with some exceptions like Flickr and Tumblr.
  • ...is a perfect illustration of the principle: "A-level people hire other A-level people. B-level people hire C-level people."

  • by slashdice ( 3722985 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @10:19PM (#53638723)

    Yahoo (including the name), is being sold off to Verizon. Altababa is the parts that are left (ie, a big pile of Alibaba stock). The yahoo name, domain, etc are not going away, they'll just have a new corporate overlord.

    Kind of like how slashdot wasn't renamed (or improved!) when bendover.net bought them, or VA Linux, or VA Research, or SourceForge, or Geek.Net or Dice.com, or BizX. Other than (fuck) beta, there have been no updates whatsoever since 1998.

    • by ark1 ( 873448 )
      Give points to this post. Core services acquired by Verizon will likely remain Yahoo branded.
  • Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @10:37PM (#53638839)
    A yahoo email address was my first official email. Melissa Mayer ran the company into the ground and she is gonna get a golden parachute.
    • A yahoo email address was my first official email.

      Psst. <whisper>Dude, you don't say that out loud. It's almost as bad as admitting you had an aol.com address.</whisper>

    • by Monoman ( 8745 )

      In all fairness, I would say Yahoo was already entering into a death spiral when Marissa came on board. I don't see how anyone thought the company could have been saved at that point and figured her real job was to make the company look good enough to get it sold.

      She was probably doing as good as anyone else until the news of the email hacks came out.

  • I miss the word more that I'll miss the company.

  • ... since Moby Dick was a minnow.

    Yahoo crapped out a long time ago when it lost its compass.

    They were, at one time, the "go to" search engine and stepped away from that core competency to do every goddam thing EXCEPT search.

    Let's remember this headline as we watch Apple make the same mistake.

  • How do you pronounce it? "OL-tuh-BAH?" "AL-TAB-uh?"
  • by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2017 @01:18AM (#53639631)

    And this, ladies and gentlemen is what a parade of mismanagement looks like. Corporate raider CEO after corporate raider CEO trying to pump up short term valuation at the expense of long term viability.

    I have said it before, I will say it again. Every executive level and board member should be required by law to receive all compensation above 10x median employee salary as stock options that start to mature in 5 years and mature 20% per year. Thus, if they get $10M per year pay, something like $9.4M is tied up for 5 years and they don't get 100% out of their first years pay until the 10th year. Force these slash and burn CEOs who are only looking to line their pockets to ensure long term corporate viability.

    • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday January 10, 2017 @05:23AM (#53640201) Homepage Journal

      And this, ladies and gentlemen is what a parade of mismanagement looks like. Corporate raider CEO after corporate raider CEO trying to pump up short term valuation at the expense of long term viability.

      That got you a +5 on /., but it is a load of crap. Mayer wasn't a raider CEO and she didn't try to pump up short term valuation. Quite the opposite, she tried to find some way to build real value in what was clearly a moribund company. I'm not saying she did a good job -- it's entirely possible that a good CEO could have found a way to preserve and grow Yahoo. But it's also entirely possible that there was just nothing there to work with, and in fact that looks most likely to me.

      Yahoo! had been coasting for a very long time when Mayer took job. Basically, the company's reason for existence ceased when Google proved in the late 90s that hand-curated directories were a dead end (up until that point, the general consensus was that search engines were doomed to failure; they were better at indexing but terrible at relevance and expected to get dramatically worse as the size of the Internet grew). But because Yahoo! had established itself as a major player it continued attracting capital, and thanks to some good deals with PC makers which got the Yahoo! search bar pre-installed on lots of machines, built considerable mindshare as a landing page and an email service. That ensured a small but decent ad revenue flow.

      But Yahoo! was never able to find a way to build a compelling product. Its ad revenues on the desktop were in decline, thanks in large part to the demise of the landing page concept and it basically completely failed to make the transition to mobile (though it did make some nice apps). What Mayer needed to do to be successful was to take the talent and the revenue and use it to create an entirely new business. Pulling all of the employees back into the office was part of her strategy for doing that, based on the theory that co-located people are more capable of generating innovative ideas (which is true, but "more capable" is not a guarantee of a result).

      But creating an entirely new line of business isn't an easy thing to do, even given a large pool of talent and plenty of money. Or, rather, it's easy to do on a small scale, but it's hard to create something that will scale rapidly up to become a multi-billion dollar business. It's actually a little easier to find a promising startup to acquire and then grow that... but even that is a crapshoot, and none of Mayer's acquisitions panned out.

      So, Yahoo!'s failure had nothing whatsoever to do with corporate raiding CEOs or pump 'n dump schemes. Mayer attempted to succeed, and failed, plain and simple.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        What Mayer needed to do to be successful was to take the talent and the revenue and use it to create an entirely new business. Pulling all of the employees back into the office was part of her strategy for doing that, based on the theory that co-located people are more capable of generating innovative ideas (which is true, but "more capable" is not a guarantee of a result).

        I think the idea of creating a new business out of it makes a ton of sense, but I think where Mayer personally ran aground was alienating her employees from day 1.

        I think the evidence is pretty clear Mayer has genius level intelligence based on her education and her work at Google, but I also think she came in with a chip on her shoulder from Google you could see underneath the Superwoman cape she donned. Showing up and disrupting the work culture with an "arbeit macht frei" mindset poisoned the well from

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        Mayer wasn't a raider CEO and she didn't try to pump up short term valuation. Quite the opposite, she tried to find some way to build real value in what was clearly a moribund company. I'm not saying she did a good job -- it's entirely possible that a good CEO could have found a way to preserve and grow Yahoo.

        I think Mayer got distracted being a member of the SI valley glitterati and doing appearances on women's talk shows.

        That said the real problem was GREED. The way to 'save' yahoo was probable to accept that there was no direct path back to the glory days. The had some good performant properties like flickr and tumblr. Things like maps and mail could still probably make enough page views to justify the operation. They should have dumped/sold off the rest and been a smaller company with a strong brand an

  • by GeekWithAKnife ( 2717871 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2017 @05:25AM (#53640205)

    I! Cannot! Help! But! Remember! The! Many! Billions! Microsoft! Was! Willing! To! Shell! Out! For! Yahoo!.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2014/01/21/should-microsoft-acquire-yahoo-for-53-billion/#651371e6a19e
  • by Max_W ( 812974 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2017 @07:30AM (#53640513)
    So CEO Marissa Mayer was wrong about telecommuting. Her ban on working via network did not help Yahoo.

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