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Mistakes by Yahoo and Fears of Job Cuts

1. Aborted projects by Yahoo

Yahoo! is full of projects that have been started, with great fanfare, only to die quietly months, sometimes years, later. Rank and file employees don't deny it: "They wasted a lot of money on projects that have been scrapped," one engineer said of the company's management.

2. Missing the Google Express

Yahoo! had the chance to buy Google in 2002. Then Chief Executive Terry Semel reportedly balked at the $5 billion price after months of negotiation. In retrospect, that was clearly a mistake.

No Yahoo! employees would touch that one. "I have no idea," one employee said.

"I need to go off to a meeting now," another answered.

3. Hiring Terry Semel

Another commonly cited mistake: Hiring former Warner Bros studio honcho Terry Semel as chief executive. Yahoo! stumbled in the wake of the tech bust early in the decade. It brought in Semel to turn things around. In retrospect, however, Semel was just riding a powerful rebound that other managers, such as the boys at Google, were playing far more skillfully. Semel declined to buy Google; at the same time, he funded a push into media that has largely foundered.

"You should really talk to a press spokesperson about that," one employee said.

4. Failing to click with DoubleClick

Another deal Yahoo! missed out on was DoubleClick. The advertising network specialized in the display ads that had long been Yahoo!'s strength as it struggled to hold back a surging Google. But when Yahoo! didn't move quick enough to purchase the ad network, Google pounced, helping to close the gap.

"I don't know, I'm not in a position to really speculate," one employee said as he clutched a pair of boxes and a cup of juice.

5. Not bonding with Ballmer

Perhaps Yahoo!'s biggest bonehead manoeuvre was failing to deal with Microsoft's acquisition offer quickly and cleanly. As a result, the drama dragged on for months, sapping Yahoo!'s energy and opening the door to Carl Icahn, the aggressive corporate raider, who grabbed three seats on Yahoo!'s board in August. The move undoubtedly led to Yang's ouster this week.

(Original article by rediff.com)




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