January 28, 2009
Yahoo!'s Yang Era Ends Down
Yahoo! marked the end of the 18-month Yang era by reporting a loss of $303million. The company’s fortunes declined by $498 million over results from the same period in 2007 when it saw a $205million gain. Revenues were also down by about 1% with Yahoo! listing $1.806 billion in Q4-08, down from $1.832 billion in Q4-07. New CEO Carol Bartz starts the year and her new job in a difficult position. Yahoo! is perceived to be in a very weak position moving into what is going to be an extremely difficult year. On one hand, Ms. Bartz needs to find value for Yahoo!’s beleaguered shareholders. On the other, she needs understand the search, content and advertising portal before making any major decisions about its future. Late yesterday, Ms. Bartz said she was not interested in selling Yahoo!’s search functions to Microsoft though the statement might have been a temporary delay of a move many see as eventually inevitable. In a conference call with Wall St. analysts yesterday, Ms. Bartz made her firmest commitment to retaining as much of Yahoo! as possible saying,
“Did I come to Yahoo to sell the company? No. . . . Am I planning on immediately selling the search business? I did not come here with preconceived notions. It is very easy from the outside to have preconceived notions of what Yahoo should do. Now as an insider and CEO it is my job and responsibility to do what is best for customers, shareholders, and employees.”The next few months should be interesting to watch.