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
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
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
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.