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Yahoo’s Bartz Makes Her Pitch To Wall Street

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It has been a rough couple of weeks for Yahoo; (NSDQ: YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz has come under sharp criticism for her handling of the company’s relationship with China’s Alibaba Group, and just today an analyst pointed out that the stock market was valuing Yahoo’s core business at “less than nothing,” according to a Tech Trader Daily. During a question and answer session at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Bartz tried to deflect some of the criticism. Highlights, below.

Alibaba: Bartz said that Yahoo’s investment in Alibaba “allows us to be in the China market without operating in the China market.” “It’s an investment, we’re not running the company,” she said. Bartz dismissed some of the recent coverage of the two companies’ relationships as “commotion.” But she did acknowledge that the value of the company’s Asian assets “tower over the value of Yahoo Inc.” “Our job as a management team is really to get the growth story back,” she said.

E-mail: Yahoo Mail is still twice as large as number two player Hotmail, but Bartz said engagement with the product had fallen. She blamed consumers who are increasingly sending short messages via Facebook instead of via e-mail and also a “pretty old” product. The company’s revamped e-mail product, which Yahoo unveiled last week, will roll out in the next three weeks.

Turnover: Asked about the spate of recent executive departures, Bartz said, “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to my assistant and said, ‘Do you know who this person is,’ and they’re about six layers down.” As for significant departures (and there have been plenty of those) Bartz said it was natural because of Yahoo’s strong position in the industry that some executives would be hired away. “There are a few more we’re going to lose,” she said.

Acquisitions: Bartz said that there was “nobody to buy” that would contribute significantly to revenue, so “you need to build your own business” instead. Bartz volunteered that Twitter “doesn’t make money, they’re way over-priced.” She said, however, that the company would continue to be “opportunistic” with acquisitions.

14 Responses to “Yahoo’s Bartz Makes Her Pitch To Wall Street”

  1. YESSSSS! We did it! :)

    It’s finally official! We won the choice to keep our Classic Groups! The new remodel is going to be offered as an option to choose, not something we have to opt out of!

    Below is the link to the video which is the unprinted part of Carol Bartz’s interview with USA Today, and the first question is about Yahoo Groups.

    It proves it without a doubt, that we did win our fight to keep Classic Groups! I’m not sure why the video part of the interview wasn’t transcribed with the rest of it, that would have helped greatly, but at least it’s now here for all to see. (Sigh of relief).

    Nightowl >8#

  2. SadieBailey

    yahoo email was already ruined with the last upgrade before; you remember– the one with the “new improved” (which at least gave us options to keep classic, but not to opt out of the privacy-violating new dribble that clogs up ram on older computers, gives spammers and crackers a field day, and puts people in my face that i don’t know nor care to know “what are they doing right now.”) i use web based email to, you know…. email.

    i was already thinking of leaving yahoo. but then…the groups remodel….that convinced me that yahoo is on a permanent downhill slide, and doesn’t even know what its userbase wants, nor cares. too sad. yahoo was the best for a very long time.

    i wonder what’s in store for flickr? (shudder). will yahoo ruin the best still-photo app too?

    my hope is that carol bartz reads our comments, pulls in the reins on her development team, and agrees to listen to the users who are the real ones who have built yahoo with their time and skill.

  3. PissedShareholder

    Bartz has sacrificed long-term shareholder value for short-term market gain. The only one making money on the company in the last two years has been Carol! She’s enriched herself while gutting the company’s core businesses and focusing what’s left on dying markets or second-fiddle markets where the company doesn’t add value. For 47M+ a year, she can’t even describe the company’s mission in a single sentence that makes sense.

    Where the hell is the plan that will grow sequential revenue?? Maybe they should’ve just had a monkey run the place, at least shareholders would’ve seen another 47M in profits (a 12% increase in FY ’09).

  4. StopCollectingSoMuchData

    Yahoo mail is mouse over hell. Too much stuff.
    Fake news stories are worse than CNN.
    You click a link and it’s not a story – just a bunch of worthless search results.

    Go Away Yahoo.


    “USA Today CEO Forum plans to interview Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. And we’d like your help.

    Do you have any questions you’d like them to ask?

    Let us know what you want to know about Yahoo, Bartz, prospects for the Internet and digital media, and how CEOs can effectively manage companies in a period of
    such rapid change.

    We’ll ask Bartz as many of your questions as we can — and we’ll post her best
    answers on” By David Lieberman

    Here’s our chance, go and post the questionsto them about why is she destroying Yahoo Groups and why she won’t listen to thousands of users planning a mass exodus if the remodel continues!

    Let’s get our concerns out in the media!!!!

    We’re making progress in our quest to save Classic Yahoo Groups. People are starting to listen! We just have to keep on protesting and not let up!

    Nightowl >8#
    (Created to save Yahoo Classic Groups or help them to find an alternative)

  6. A new Yahoo Mail rolling out? Let’s hope they don’t botch it as badly as they did the “remodel” of Yahoo Groups a few weeks ago.

    Yahoo sprang the changes to Groups almost no-notice, with incomplete features, and with it evidently not having been tested very much or very thoroughly.

    They then left us to dangle over a long weekend (release: 31 August; we were stuck with our ‘new surprise’ through Labor Day) before even formally announcing the change.

    Since then, Yahoo’s reps have been publicly deluding themselves. In one blog post, they thanked, by name, the three or four Groups users who’d said they liked the new version. This after over 100 complaint comments on the same post from people whose groups have been crippled or killed. The outcry has only swelled since then; over 1500 negative comments (versus maybe a dozen positive ones by non-staff) on theGroups Suggestion Board alone, 50 to 150 on each of the five Ygroups Blog posts we’ve seen since the rollout, groups migrating to other services, Google groups created expressly for archiving Yahoo ones, and letters *on paper* going out to advertisers, boardmembers, and Yahoo upper management.

    Yahoo is not acknowledging our concerns.

    It is not taking responsibility for errors in the code, privacy violations, accessibility issues, security flaws, or–least of all–the way the new system has mangled our message archives. Said archives are very nearly the whole point of an e-list, what Yahoo has chosen to call a ‘group’.

    This is a seriously flawed product. But even if it were the source code to Shangri-La, the way it was (not) tested…the way it was rolled out…the way they tried to make it one-size-fits-all…the way those of us who run the groups were given almost no notice and no choice…and most especially the cavalier, may I say disrespectful, way in which our concerns are being minimized and/or blown off entirely…

    …is nothing short of shameful, unless you’re willing to stop at merely disgusting.

  7. @3screenplanet

    Gotta love Bartz’s response to executives leaving her company: “Don’t worry. Only pee-ons have left.” If she believes that no companies are acquisition targets, she’s not looking very hard.

  8. But nothing is said that one of their products which they are trying to make into “Facebook” is a long time standing feature that is causing many of their users to look for alternative venues.

    yes, yahoo has problems and it’s not becuase of a “Female” CEO. It’s because they don’t look at the true user of their products.

  9. David Mcdaniels

    hahaha. so many bashers upset by the female CEO of a huge company — always looking for ways to put her down. she’s rough around the edges but she kicks all your loser asses.

    yahoo has $1 billion in net income coming up — that is not be recognized yet. it will be. yahoo will get to $20+. patience. 600,000,000 LONG TIME USERS (many 10+ years on yahoo) are correct. I LOVE YAHOO.