Yahoo! has been through some tough times in recent years. Google, once a small startup, has grown to many times Yahoo’s size and userbase. In recent years, many have criticized Yahoo CEO Terry Semel for allowing the company to fall behind. His prior experience in Hollywood was intended to bring Yahoo into the age of digital media, but instead allowed the company to slip further backwards in the fight for search supremacy.
Today, Semel abruptly announced his resignation after internal turmoil at the company. After Semel spurned the normal search for a replacement, Yahoo is left scrambling. Immediately Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang assumed the CEO position on an interim basis, and Sue Decker will become the president.
Outgoing CEO Terry Semel (Left) with Co-Founder and Interim CEO Jerry Yang
(Image Courtesy of Jeremy Johnstone)
The stock market and investors seem to like the move, as the stock has seem a slight rise in after-hours trading. That’s all short term, however. What’s going to happen to Yahoo in the long run? This announcement puts their future as a consolidated company in question. Without strong leadership, Yahoo would be a perfect acquisition target for a bigger company like Microsoft or Google. Worse yet, Yahoo could sell of the assets of their site, fragmenting their userbase.
Regardless of the moves Yahoo makes, the landscape of the internet was shaken by Semel’s announcement. Yahoo needs strong leadership, and hopefully Jerry Yang can steer them through these tough times. Only the future will tell whether Yahoo can rise to once again become an internet leader or if it will simply remain a footnote under Google or Microsoft’s entry in the encyclopedia.