There are only two kinds of people in the world, starting today. People who once worked for Yahoo!, and people who currently work for Yahoo! News that the wavering Internet giant has “stirred” the leadership pot once again is no surprise. CEO Scott Thompson getting a fresh new board of directors? Oh boy. The only story missing in the Yahoo! corporate comedy of errors is a harsh one, but a realistic one too. Why don’t we all just call this fiasco what it is?
I was reading some of the articles this morning, stories which open the next chapter in what has been (for most observers) the greatest fall from grace any Internet entrepreneur could imagine. The literal deconstruction of the most visited web entity ever launched, Yahoo! was once the most valuable piece of web real estate on Earth. Co-founder Jerry Yang called it quits last month, and now Roy Bostock and most of the rest of the company’s board of directors are out the door. Who hasn’t been fired or left Yahoo?
In a letter to shareholders from Bostock, the departing chair offered this:
“The board has concluded that in order to accelerate the company’s transformation, the combination of a new chief executive officer with an enhanced team of independent directors would provide Yahoo with the expertise and perspectives necessary to drive innovation and growth going forward.”
Bostock went on to announce that Yahoo! is seeking other “fresh” board room minds to fill the vacancies, as well as patting each-and-every-one of Yahoo!’s outdoing leaders on the back for basically firing themselves. Sorry to be so cruel here, but this is pitiful. Yahoo! may as well have announced at halftime of the Super Bowl (maybe Clint Eastwood could have done it) – “We want the world to know, that despite our past incompetence running one of the world’s biggest businesses, we do have the insight to quit when the quitting is good.”
Next we will hear that Yahoo! has decided to replace each-and-every-one of their 13,000 plus employees. As for the minds behind Yahoo! Yang has joined fellow David Filo pursuing other dreams and to play the stock market. Bostock can now spend more time on the boards of Morgan Stanley (helping with investor confidence no doubt) and Delta Airlines (let’s hope your sky miles don’t run out). Other directors with free time on their hands soon will be; Vyomesh Joshi (who can now devote more energy to your HP printer value), Gary L. Wilson (Destination unknown?), and independent investor Arthur H. Kern (who is probably just ready to retire).
We will keep you updated as the next deck of the steamship Yahoo! slips beneath the digital waves. Oh, for those who do not know me, I actually rooted for Yahoo! all along. This is actually sad. Yahoo’s PR firms have included Hill & Knowlton, Peppercomm PR and Golin-Harris.
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