New Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's Turnaround Plan (YHOO)
Three weeks after joining, new Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson hosted his first quarterly earnings call today. He declined to get into specifics, but he outlined the general principles of his turnaround plan. It all revolves around "balance" he said.
It needs to "balance" it's approach to customers, which are both users and advertisers.
Yahoo needs to "balance what we are," said Thompson. He said Yahoo is a media company and a technology company. "We need to do both. We end the debate about which is more important. We must do both."
Yahoo needs to balance "thoughtfulness with speed." "I want to go fast," he said. "I immerse myself in details, but I make decisions fast. We will bring speed back into the equation. That's how we get into playing offense instead of defense."
Yahoo needs to balance its capital allocation between products of today, tomorrow, and the distant future. Thompson said Yahoo should invest most of its money in today's products, a "very signicant portion" toward products of tomorrow, and " a small, but meaningful amount" on products that will come out more than a year from the present. He said Yahoo will be open to new business models as it strives to innovate.
Beyond "balance" Thompson is convinced that "data" will play a huge part in Yahoo's turnaround. He called data "Yahoo's most undervalued asset" and said, "I believe data will be the key component for driving innovation at Yahoo. It will be the cornerstone for creating new products and services." Thompson said Yahoo can use data to give users "uniquely releveant experiences," something "nobody's done yet on the Web." Prompted by an analyst, Thompson said that another component of Yahoo's turnaround would be aquisitions. To paraphrase, he said: I suspect that there will be places where we don't ahve the technologies today or the capablities today. If we want to put forward these agendas quickly, we'll have to be aggressive in the market. I'm relatively certain here that there will be things that interest us and fill in technology gaps we have today. Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.Join the conversation about this story »See Also:Yahoo Is Planning A Round Of LayoffsJerry Yang Had To Step Down To Give Scott Thompson A Chance With Yahoo ExecsRoy Bostock Hasn't Left The Yahoo Board Because He Needs To Finish Selling The Asian Assets
Scott Thompson Walks With $7 Million, But No Severance (YHOO)Even though he got fired for mishandling a scandal about his academic credentials, Scott Thompson got paid handsomely for his four-month stint as Yahoo's CEO, an SEC filing shows. As we reported last week, Thompson had already earned a $7 million bonus—$1.5 million in cash and $5.5 million in restricted stock—just by sticking around for a couple of months. He negotiated those amounts when he signed on as a "make-whole" bonus to compensate him for cash and stock awards he left behind when he joined Yahoo from eBay's PayPal subsidiary. Earlier today, CNNMoney reported that Thompson's contract might require him to repay those amounts if he voluntarily resigned. But that's a moot point, since Thompson and Yahoo negotiated a separation agreement which explicitly allows him to keep those bonuses, while waiving claims to any other severance. Executive-compensation expert Chris Crawford, COO of Longnecker & Associates, told Business Insider last week that it would be tough for Yahoo to claw back bonuses it had already paid. Such clawbacks are a new and contested area of employment law. And it's smart for Yahoo to clear the decks for interim CEO Ross Levinsohn to continue the company's turnaround, rather than have the drama of a fight over the terms of Thompson's departure. And Thompson can grapple with his own issues—like his recent diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.Join the conversation about this story »
Yahoo's Big Plan To Sell Off Its Asian Assets Is Dead Now (YHOO)
Yahoo has stopped talks with its Asian partners about selling back its stake, Kara Swisher at All Things D reports. Yahoo is no longer interested in a "cash-rich split" with Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. Yahoo's stock dropped 7% in reaction to the news. More to come ... Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.Join the conversation about this story »See Also:CHART OF THE DAY: Hate To Be Rude, But Facebook Is Not The Next Google. It's Not Even CloseThe Most Depressing Thing You'll Read About Yahoo…TodayYAHOO BOARD SHAKEUP!