It wasn't all her fault, but Carol Bartz's resignation as CEO of Yahoo
likely will be remembered as the final straw that broke the back of the once-great Internet company. Bartz oversaw the deal that essentially gifted Yahoo's search revenue stream to Microsoft and abandoned future search ambitions by allowing its engine to be powered by Bing. Bartz was dealt a really difficult hand by the former custodians of Yahoo but her direction for the company seemed flawed from the start. From all of her rhetoric, it was clear from the outset that she did not hold search as a particularly important aspect of Yahoo's holdings and she doubled down on display advertising efforts. In my opinion, this was a big mistake.
When Bartz took over, people in my business talked about Google, Yahoo and Microsoft–in that order–when discussing the search landscape. Google was the juggernaut but Yahoo was the company that first began to invest in building out a revenue model to accompany their popular search engine. Yahoo purchased Overture, they rebranded it, they relaunched it, they tailored it, they supported it and, ultimately, under Bartz's stewardship, they discarded it. Now, when people talk about search, they mention Google and Bing; Yahoo very justly doesn't enter the conversation. It's a shame that Yahoo has suffered this fate when they were once so innovative or, at least, so good at recognizing innovative companies to acquire and paths to pursue.
There is clearly room for two or more players in the field of search; it's sad that Yahoo lost its footing in that field without even putting up a fight. I wish the best of luck to Bart, to the company that she's leaving and to the company that lands with. She's an extremely capable person by all accounts that just didn't have the right tools or ideas to save Yahoo. I hope that this isn't the last we'll hear from Yahoo but it's going to be even tougher for Bartz's successor to turn the company around than it was for her. [Forbes
My boss, Mssr. M. Graham Mothner, threw Delivering Happiness on my desk today with a “you’ve gotta read this” look on his face. Luckily, I’m a slow reader and I’m already reading two other books right now, so I’ll probably be done with it around November… of 2012.
Seriously, though, Zappos is one of those companies that–love them of hate them–is good at what they do. The more that I find out about them, the more impressed I am. So, for those of you who might not get to the book, here is a video of Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, discussing his take on company culture and its importance to the success of a company.
I found this to be the most inspiring line from the video:
We’re willing to hire and fire people based on whether they’re living up to [Zappos' core values], independent of job performance.
Just about every company claims to put the good of the whole over the needs of the few but I think we all know that exceptions are always made for the “high value” or “high maintenance” employees:
“Yeah, John sure can be a jerk but he’s our top salesman, so what can you do?”
“Sure, Jane is nightmare to work with but nobody on the team can program like she can.”
It’s good to know that one company that has been wildly successful has managed to achieve its success without compromising their core values. [Fora.tv