Yahoo: Terry Out, Jerry In, No Real Change

I have a feeling that all this excitement about Terry Semel’s


at Yahoo will be seen in retrospect to be overblown. (To give you an idea of

how big a deal this is, Nick Denton at Valleywag

has devoted his last seven posts to the news.)

The company is now in play, or at least the market thinks

it is, Jerry Yang’s protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

But the problem with Semel was not that he was unwilling to sell the company;

the problem with Semel was that he was an Old Media guy who was never really

fast enough to keep Yahoo new and vibrant.

And if it’s fast, new and vibrant you want, I really don’t think that Yang’s

your man. Denton actually nails


Yahoo’s press release, announcing the management putsch at Yahoo, is one

of the most nauseating examples of corporate doublespeak I’ve read in a long

while. "Yang

and Decker to Focus on Realizing Yahoo!’s Strategic Vision by Accelerating

Execution, Further Strengthening Leadership and Fostering a Culture of Winning."

This attempt to spin, in the most desperate of situations, isn’t clever; it’s

pathetic, and emblematic of a company still in deep denial about its defeat

by Google.

Can you remotely imagine Google putting out a press release like that? Excessive

corporate-speak is a sign that you haven’t got a clue what you’re actually meant

to be doing, and instead start talking

like this:

What is that vision? A Yahoo! that executes with speed, clarity and discipline.

A Yahoo! that increases its focus on differentiating its products and investing

in creativity and innovation. A Yahoo! that better monetizes its audience.

A Yahoo! whose great talent is galvanized to address its challenges.

The depressing thing is that I’m not quoting Semel, here: I’m quoting Yang.

In his own blog. Anybody who writes on his own blog about "operational

excellent mentality" and "critical initiatives" and galvanized

talent is a CEO with a passel of management consultants instead of a vision.

The guy’s not even 40 yet and already he’s talking like this? Maybe becoming

a billionaire does that to you.

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