Yahoo will develop into a generation massive once more, serving to to shape how people use the internet within the next decade, incoming chief govt Scott Thompson promised these days.
The web has changed so much within the remaining twenty years, nevertheless it’s actually still in its infancy, he mentioned in his first public feedback these days as Yahoo’s CEO-to-be. Yahoo will assist the online mature through returning to a trail of industry-top innovation, he mentioned.
“What happens in the next five or the next ten years is hard to imagine. I expect Yahoo will be part of that,” said Thompson, who is president of PayPal. “We’ll be back to innovation, back to disruption. You’ll see a great series of products.”
When Thompson takes over as Yahoo CEO and a member of its board on Monday, he will have a huge problem on his fingers. Yahoo remains a fixture on the internet, with 700 million unique customers visiting every month, but it surely’s ceded initiative–and new revenue–to more recent rivals similar to Google and fb. And with Yahoo’s parade of CEOs in recent years, the corporate has to be suffering from reorg fatigue.
For years, Yahoo has been conflicted about whether its priority should be technology or content. In its earliest days as “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle,” it was necessarily involved with both: the World Wide Web was a brand-new publishing medium, and there was a lot of new content for Yahoo to publish.
In the Terry Semel years, the pendulum swung towards content material as Yahoo turned into extra of a media company. whilst co-fobeneath Jerry Yang took the reins again, he considering nerdy infrastructure: the collection of programming interfaces known as the Yahoo Open technique that may link Yahoo to the outdoor web and vice versa. Then, underneath Carol Bartz’s brief tenure, content got here again to the fore.
but Thompson has deep roots in tech. prior to becoming PayPal’s president, he was once chief era officer of the eBay online payment service, he oversaw Visa’s international electronic payment gadget, and was the chief knowledge officer of Barclays worldwide traders.
Adapting Yahoo to mobile gadgets shall be one part of the technology effort.
“Mobile is a wave that is bigger than people even imagine it to be,” Thompson said. “How people interact online has changed. Devices take all shapes and sizes. You’d better have a great experience on any device the customer has.”
Content, too, is still important, of course–Yahoo would break if its pendulum swung all the way to one side or the other.
Yahoo’s success “is a function of delivering excellent technology and content, not one or the other,” Thompson said.
When questioned by analysts on financial matters such as cutting staff to improve profit margins or hiring to improve products, Thompson wouldn’t be pinned down. He needs more time to meet with staff and learn the company’s details, he said.
Thompson won over at least one analyst. “He’s convinced me that Yahoo’s in a better place today than it was yesterday,” Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray & Co. said on CNBC after Thompson’s inaugural conference call.
It’s not the only case where he didn’t show his priorities. Other cases of straddling the fence:
• Users vs. advertisers: “One of great things we were able to achieve at PayPal is balancing the consumer’s needs and consumer’s experience and the merchant’s needs and merchant’s experience.” Likewise, balancing content for users and opportunities to advertise, “if we get it right, we’ll be building value at both sides of that value proposition,” he said.
• Haste vs. waste: “Speed is critical,” Thompson said. But he also said he’ll seek an “appropriate balance of urgency and thoughtfulness.”
He was unequivocal about one priority, though, as he spoke to analysts: “shareholder value and topline growth.” In other words, a rising stock price and growing revenue.
To improve Yahoo’s business, Thompson will take over the current process of analyzing what should stay and what should be sold off, shut down, spun off, or otherwise given the boot.
“There will be no slowdown or delay whatsoever in that process,” Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock said in the conference call. “Scott has caught up with where we are. He will help lead and direct those processes.”
As Yahoo has floated adrift in the Internet industry, would-be acquirers including Silver Lake and TPG Capital have reportedly been working on plans to buy Yahoo from shareholders, taking it from a publicly traded company to a private one.
Bostock unequivocally said that wouldn’t occur.
“I do not envision us not being a public company going forward,” Bostock said, saying its $20 billion market capitalization makes that idea impractical.
If you and that i had been to sit down down and say allow’s take this corporate private, i feel we’d have one hell of a challenge on our fingers, he mentioned. it isn’t on the radar reveal or under consideration. we think to run this corporate for the advantage of the shareholders.
For Thompson, though, the challenge is more than that. His aspiration, he said, is “to return this business to being one of those great iconic brands, to be at the forefront of innovation online.”