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Yahoo needs a new CEO. Who do they call?

Jason Kilar at DLD conference

Looks like Carol Bartz is done at Yahoo (s YHOO). The news was reported earlier today by Kara Swisher and later confirmed by the company. Yahoo’s CFO Tim Morse is the interim CEO.

TechCrunch first reported the rumors of her pending exit in June 2011, though Yahoo denied those. Nevertheless, it seems that the board had enough. Apparently Bartz was let go via a phone call from Roy Bostock, co-founder and chairman of Yahoo.

What Yahoo needs a product-oriented chief executive who has cut her/his teeth on the consumer Internet and has a clear idea of what the company’s product line-up looks like in an Internet that is primarily mobile. And more importantly, that person has to be steely enough to give up on the products of the past and betting on some key products for the future.

My advice to Yahoo board (and this is not the first time I’m offering it) — Get Jason. I mean Jason Kilar, one of the best product-oriented chief executives around. And given that Hulu is (apparently) up for sale, and Yahoo is one of the bidders, Yahoo’s board could actually be aggressive about it. Hulu not only brings Kilar but it also fills up a vital hole in Yahoo’s product line-up: video content. Remember, Yahoo got its start as a directory service but made big strides as a content aggregator. Hulu is as good as it can get when it comes to aggregating highly produced video content.

Of course, all this could be wishful thinking. The fact that CFO Tim Morse has been named interim CEO, it seems that they are optimizing to sell the company. What do you guys think? You think someone will replace Bartz? If yes, who?

12 Responses to “Yahoo needs a new CEO. Who do they call?”

  1. Yeah,when a CFO is made to head a tech company, then it is clear that they have lost the plot. They are not serious about being able to create new value propositions, they just want someone who can cut costs, craft a short-term ascent in the share price, find a buyer and get the hell out. Am not suggesting that Yahoo is on to this, but the choice of CFO (even it were only as a gap-filler) for the CEO post speaks for itself.

    Coming to who should become the advise is that whoever that is, better abandon his/her mobile phone before taking up the job :-) And probably the joining conditions will include “no IPad” …

  2. They need someone who cut their teeth in online advertising, has some agency relationships, and can understand the business enough to stop their decline in ad share. They aren’t losing traffic share, but are losing ad share. That doesn’t sound like a product problem, it sounds like a sales problem.

    • I see the logic, but I disagree – they have ad talent, what they need is to get back to their technology roots with a fresh exec who is *not* quite as high profile, somebody with serious tech chops, startup experience, deep and rich exposure to product, vast domain experience around mobile and business processes, expert at organizational design, yadda yadda yadda…my own pick for the “rising star” profile in this would be somebody like Steve Yankovich at eBay, the guy has real tech roots and built mobile at eBay from nothing to billions very quietly…check him out.

  3. paul martin

    What’s the use of a CEO. Eric S at Google was good for them then and without Mr Churchill we would not have won the war. But Richard Branson starts a company and then leaves well alone with the only occasional PR stunt; Yahoo needs PR, my advice is any celeb will do

  4. While I remember the first bookmarks list published by two guys at Standford. I just took a look at Yahoo for the first time in many years. OMG, what happened. On a first glance they desperately need a crash course on Information, then a strategy how we create/organize data in a mobile world.