2011-09-08

Why Carol Bartz wasn’t the right CEO for Yahoo

Carol Bartz recently got fired as CEO of Yahoo. The article “The Failure of Yahoo's Board” (by Maxwell Wessel for Harvard Business Review, via @k33g_org) explains why that was the right decision and why having hired her in the first place should be considered a failure of Yahoo’s board. Quote:
Unfortunately for Yahoo, during her tenure at Autodesk, Bartz dealt with issues surrounding scaling a core business. Her success was a function of being good at increasing earnings (in the face of rapid market expansion) and managing investors. She never had to find novel products and revenue sources. Bartz's experience at Autodesk did not prepare her for problems facing the CEO of Yahoo, a company that needed new avenues for growth.
Bartz was successful at her pre-Yahoo job, but that job presented challenges that were completely different from the ones at Yahoo. The board should have seen that.

Yahoo’s story is a sad one. A long time ago they had the potential to become a second Google. They used to innovate in the domains of the semantic web and web applications, but haven’t done anything new of note in recent years – especially something that’s end-user-facing.

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