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Yahoo! VP Calls For a Shakeup 174

Posted by kdawson
from the peanut-butter-manifesto dept.
prostoalex writes, "Yahoo!'s Senior VP Brad Garlinghouse sent out a company-wide memo calling for layoffs of 15-20% of Yahoo! staff and reversal of priorities to concentrate on major issues facing the company. (The Wall Street Journal posted a copy of the memo.) MarketWatch quotes Garlinghouse: 'I've heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular. I hate peanut butter. We all should.'"
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Yahoo! VP Calls For a Shakeup

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  • by gQuigs (913879) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @06:46PM (#16899780) Homepage
    Do not support Yahoo, in their war against peanut butter. This is exactly what Google is trying to prevent with their "Do No Evil" Clause.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...to call this guy a corporate douchebag.

      The thing that really convinces me is the peanut butter metaphor. It's unforgiveable. What has this guy got against peanut butter? It's delicious. I think these guys come up with these ideas as they grunt on the toilet. It makes the blood pressure fall in your cerebral arteries and so you should be suspicious of any epiphany you have there especially if you are in management.

      He also bleeds purple and yellow and he brags of having shaved a Y in the back of his head.
    • peanut butter jelly time!!!
  • by Channard (693317) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @06:47PM (#16899792) Journal
    ... that didn't have any buzzwords in it. Let's hope just that it doesn't get Yahoo into a jam - otherwise that VP could be toast.
  • by Salvance (1014001) * on Saturday November 18, 2006 @06:53PM (#16899818) Homepage Journal
    Both Yahoo and Google this year have introduced a mind-blowing number of new services that make it easy to accuse either of spreading themselves too thin. Remember when Google said they'd only offer search, not chat or finance pages or horoscopes? Right, now they've also added 30+ other products (luckily they've stayed away from horoscopes for now).

    The difference between the two is that Google has at least devoted the resources to improving upon their key product (search), while Yahoo has a difficult time defining what their key product is. I'm sure Brad Garlinghouse (being the VP of Mail) of the memo would say it's Yahoo! Mail, but if you were to interview every VP you'd likely get a different answer.

    As an example of their lack of focus, look at the homepage. One week it focuses on news stories, the next it focuses on some random $50,000 video contest. This may keep people entertained, but it also reflects the lack of consistency inherent in the organization (or shows the bread through the peanut butter as Brad might say).
    • by nelsonal (549144) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @07:09PM (#16899940) Journal
      Yahoo finance seems to be the only product they have that is best in class (in my experience). It's probably the best ad supported place to go for info out there.
      • by Duncan3 (10537)
        I agree, Yahoo Finance is better then any other site.

        But it's free.

        So as a business, it sucks.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nelsonal (549144)
          Google's also free, and it seems to be pulling down a decent chunk. I think their biggest problem is that the really valuable portion of the target market for subscription services has already been captured by things like Bloomberg. Perhaps they should start a brokerage and push their own trading platform.
        • by X (1235)
          s/Yahoo Finance/Google Search/

          Oh, and just 'cause it's bugging me: s/then/than/

          Free services can be quite profitable, and if you think you can't make money selling ads for an audience that is interested in financial news, you're an idiot.
      • by Dahamma (304068)
        Yahoo finance seems to be the only product they have that is best in class (in my experience).

        I'd add Yahoo Messenger to thst list. I have tried almost every IM client out there, and Y!M is miles ahead of anything else. GAIM is nice when you have friends with other IM clients (namely AIM) but pretty much everyone I know uses a Y!M account, whether it's with Y!M or GAIM...

        I'm not sure I'd call it "best in class", but Yahoo Music Engine/Yahoo Unlimited/Launchcast are pretty solid as far as streaming music g
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          Interesting. Everyone I know who is a geek uses Jabber (and a few non-geeks now use Google Talk, since they already had gmail accounts). Of the remainder, everyone I know in Europe uses MSN Messenger, everyone I know in the USA and Japan uses AIM. The only people I've met who use Y!IM (and there have been very few) also use one of the other two, so I've never felt the need to install the Y!IM transport on my Jabber server.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by whoever57 (658626)
        Yahoo finance seems to be the only product they have that is best in class
        Yes, but with Y!'s recent redesign, they are doing their best to wreck it. I hardly ever use it now, and I don't believe I am alone in using it far less.

        In fact, I use Y! far less since its redesign. Whereas it used to be my default for many things except for search and email, now I only go there for specific information.

      • I prefer Google finance now myself, what do you find Yahoo offers that you miss?

        I did prefer Yahoo pefore in that regard, but there again they built a nice site and haven't really enhanced it for a while.
        • by nelsonal (549144)
          The major things I haven't found replicated yet are: better access to financial statements, message boards (that have occasionally useful commentary), and portfolios that are easy to create and retrive.
      • The talking ads that pop up at random on Yahoo Finance are the most annoying thing in the world. The site is not suitable for viewing in a cube farm or in an open floor plan. I had to install adblock and flashblock just to deal with it, but it's no longer worth dealing with Yahoo when Google's finance page is now usable.

        One thing Yahoo has never gotten right is the usability/annoyance equation in web design.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by alexhs (877055)
      (luckily they've stayed away from horoscopes for now)

      With all personal data you're giving them when using their products, they could probably come up with a better horoscope than any astrologer... and even without knowing your astrological sign...
      • Unbelievably to me, some sites can already ascertain your character using little real info. For example, "www.LikeBetter.com guesses your physical and personality characteristics just by which pictures you like. Every 10 or so pictures you can click on the brain at the bottom and it tells you what it knows about you. I couldn't believe how accurate it was ... After about 10 rounds, it had given me 20 characteristics, only 1 was incorrect.
        • I'm not so impressed by that site.

          After 25ish pictures, it decided I'm 30-something (easy enough), then erroneously guessed I'm a woman. "The brain has no more thoughts about you."
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by DerekLyons (302214)

          Unbelievably to me, some sites can already ascertain your character using little real info. For example, "www.LikeBetter.com guesses your physical and personality characteristics just by which pictures you like. Every 10 or so pictures you can click on the brain at the bottom and it tells you what it knows about you. I couldn't believe how accurate it was ... After about 10 rounds, it had given me 20 characteristics, only 1 was incorrect.

          I started from scratch 20 times - not once was what it "knew" (the fi

    • by dangitman (862676)
      Remember when Google said they'd only offer search, not chat or finance pages or horoscopes? Right, now they've also added 30+ other products (luckily they've stayed away from horoscopes for now).

      You must be a Virgo, with that attitude.

    • Both Yahoo and Google this year have introduced a mind-blowing number of new services that make it easy to accuse either of spreading themselves too thin. ... The difference between the two is that Google has at least devoted the resources to improving upon their key product (search), while Yahoo has a difficult time defining what their key product is.

      So... Yahoo is smooth and Google is crunchy?

    • You can tell from their homepage that they're trying to play catch-up in the online video segment. The headline always has some irrelevant video that they want you to see. There's no way to customize it to show something else, unless, of course you go to My Yahoo! instead. A homepage should be fast loading and uncluttered - Yahoo!'s page fails in that regard. It seems that they have marketing types designing the front page with no regard for usability or performance.
    • luckily they've stayed away from horoscopes for now

      I guess you do not use orkut. It has a "today's fortune" line in your user home page.

    • by mlefevre (67954)
      "(luckily they've stayed away from horoscopes for now)"

      Actually, the Google UK default personalised home page [google.co.uk] (the link may end up taking you somewhere different if you're not in the UK, I'm not sure) features a horoscope from tarot.com.
  • by linuxci (3530) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @06:54PM (#16899834)
    I know someone who works in the Yahoo London office and there they've already been cutting back on some major departments. Fortunately he managed to find another job in his notice period, but it looks like a large portion of people there were getting the push.

    These things unfortunately happen in any big company eventually if they have got involved in too many different areas.
  • Scary (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Its amazing to me that someone with such poor writing skills can make it to the VP level of a multibillion dollar company. I think its time to sell some YHOO.
    • by pete6677 (681676)
      It was never really time to buy Yahoo. Sure it had some incredible gains, just as long as you sold before one of their multiple 50% drops in earnings. Yahoo would no doubt be a cool place to work and has done some amazing things with the internet, but business minded they are not.
  • by nudicle (652327) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @07:10PM (#16899960)
    I've heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular.

    By the analogy he adopts, peanut butter is investment. What bothers him is the nature of the layer of peanut butter : it's too thin. So the problem is with the peanut butter allocation, not the peanut butter. And in fact, his favored projects should get more peanut butter given his chosen metaphor, since peanut butter == investment.

    Which makes this, I hate peanut butter. We all should, a mind-blowingly asinine comment. This guy doesn't even understand his own analogy and maybe Yahoo! would be wise to re-allocate the investment it made in him. Sounds like he wouldn't mind that at all.

    This is what happens when people make comments they think are snappy and incisive without actually thinking about what the hell they're saying.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by failedlogic (627314)
      I think what's worse, is that he was the one who was helping to spread the peanut butter for the last 3 years as a VP. Why is he writing this memo now and not two years or one year ago? A letter in the WSJ was critical of Yahoo's performance. That's not fair or being accountable. He contradicts his own goddamned logic. Its his fault as much as anybody else's for not catching this problem years ago. Or months before the WSJ article.

      And rather than fire staff, why not reallocate them to positions where there
    • by RajivSLK (398494)
      Actually, I believe he is saying that currently yahoo's investment allocation resembles peanut butter on toast but it shouldn't be. He hates peanut butter and would rather the investment be more akin to, say, lobster pate. Makes sense to me.
    • "Which makes this, I hate peanut butter. We all should, a mind-blowingly asinine comment. "

      I agree it was out-of-place in the email, that's why I don't think this was a metaphor.

      I think he actually hates peanut butter. My guess is the company cafeteria is now getting rid of peanut butter and they'll lay off a few hundred people over there at Yahoo.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 18, 2006 @07:16PM (#16900004)
    ..and having left pretty recently, I have to say this is right on the money. Too many VPs, senior VPs, and directors who just go to meetings all day and don't contribute anything except to get large bonuses (which the engineers rarely see). Properties which have large teams but haven't gotten any updates in years (Calendar, My Yahoo, just to name a couple), which were supposed to have released stuff months ago for "beta", but of course haven't. Stupid acquisitions (Bix, wtf??) instead of just concentrating on what they're good at (go back to the properties update), and duplication of efforts (Flickr, Photos, and last I heard, there were 3 different bookmarking technologies).

    On top of all that, there's very little communication between properties so you see lots of duplication of effort, or something that'd be useful to one section of the company which nobody except the designers of that cool thing know about.

    I enjoyed working at the company, but I agree it needs a major shakeup. Can the CEO for starters.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Carbon copy for eBay.

      Get rid of the top execs, gut 80% of middle management. Too many people doing nothing and being safe in their jobs. A good project comes around and everyone trys to get their hands on it to be able to later claim that they were a part of it. The end result is extremely long project timelines and watered-down projects (destroyed by too many cooks, then crippled by people who are threatened by the project's potential success).
  • Pro-Peanut (Score:2, Funny)

    by umbrellasd (876984)
    I like peanut butter.
  • Shakeup? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JimDaGeek (983925) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @07:24PM (#16900066)
    Or Christmas bonus?

    This sounds more like an exec trying to get a nice fat Christmas bonus for himeself by putting 15%+ of the workers out of work for the holiday season. I have worked for 3 fortune 500's and this is how they all do it. They layoff a nice chunk of workers and then give themselves a big fat bonus for doing it. Pretty sickening if you ask me.

    Yup, I don't see anything new here. Yahoo! has always invested broadly and shallowly. This dude won't change anything. He just wants to get a fat Christmas bonus so he figured the only way to do that was to put a bunch of people out of work. Don't worry, he and his family will have a nice holiday season. As for the 15% - 20% that he fires? Well, that is where we come in by giving money to the Salvation Army to help out families like that.

    Long live uncontrolled capitalism! Hey, it is only to "maximize profits" or to "increase share holder value" right? Those few hundred or thousand families, well, they don't count.

    I will eat my shorts if this bum doesn't get some type of bonus for successfully executing this round of layoffs.
    • by dangitman (862676)
      Well, that is where we come in by giving money to the Salvation Army to help out families like that.

      What do tambourines have to do with this?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cetialphav (246516)
      But that 15-20% are not carrying their weight. The VP's view is that they are not productive. Now I don't work at Yahoo so I don't know if he is right or not. But if he is right, then why is it fair to let 15-20% of the company drain the profits of the company? Why would the workers have more rights over the shareholders, who have invested cold hard cash?

      I don't think the people that get let go will have big problems finding other jobs. Tons of companies would love to be in Yahoo's position and would l
    • No shit. What an asshole. He says a bunch of things that make sense: focus, eliminate internal competition, etc, etc. Then out of his ass he pulls "cut 15% of the workforce" uhhh...why? The company makes a lot of money, the margins are very high (as reported by yahoo finance) so why fire people? Just so the stock goes up some points and Brad can buy a bigger house? God how do these people get in these positions? And wow is saying shit like that going to be good for morale over at yahoo. If someone high up i
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by I_am_the_man (694208)

      How is the parent post Insightful?

      "I have worked for 3 fortune 500's and this is how they all do it. They layoff a nice chunk of workers and then give themselves a big fat bonus for doing it."

      How do you know they got a bonus? What companies were these ? You sound like someone who is bitter and has no proof of what you alledge happened to you no less what someone in another company is planning to do. Trust me this guy is not scheming for a bonus by putting his butt on the line writing this memo. That ma

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Putting his butt on the line? No, putting your butt on the line would be saying, "15-20% of our employees aren't doing anything productive right now. But we're a clever company in a big field, so let's find something truly useful for them to do." The whole "lay off waves of employees and refocus on core competencies" thing is something every MBA learns in Driving Up Stock Prices 101. It's been shown pretty ineffective at improving companies' long term success prospects, but in investors minds, ruthless
  • You know language has gone down the tubes when people use awkward metaphors to elaborate upon clear ones.

    - RG>

    ("tubes" pun unintended)
  • Peanut Butter must be the new name for what was known as "portal" in the dot-com era.
  • Hedgehogs..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ezratrumpet (937206) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @07:42PM (#16900196) Journal
    I'm reminded of the Hedgehog Concept from Good to Great.

    "We've got to zero in on a few key priorities," Semel told the financial community after Yahoo released its third-quarter earnings.

    While Semel's challenge is painfully radical and hints at cutbacks as something of a panacea, his memo has some important points.

    Yahoo needs to follow Jim Collins's advice - find the intersection of their passion, the thing they could do better than anyone in the world, and their profit engine. Focus all of their energies on that spot. Dismiss "good things" to gain "great things."

    It's not too late for Yahoo....yet.
  • He recommends that other departments and individuals should be kicked out as excessive, not himself 'The great visionary...'
  • by Utopia (149375)
    Brad Garlinghouse should setup an example for other to follow.
    He should lay himself off.

  • by Jack9 (11421) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @07:45PM (#16900228)
    Yahoo had cutbacks last year at this time as well. The entire culture is bankrupt (from the veterans' point of view). Young people with fresh ideas and no discipline. Lower employment standards, lower benefits (if you're lucky enough to avoid contractor-dom), inferior products. The smart money sold their Yahoo stock LAST year. I'm trying to think of 1 service that is synonymous with Yahoo and I can't...but I have memorized a number of audio clips (commercials/IM). That's just what I've gotten from my friends who work there (check the blogs, you'll see the sentiments and realities). This spokeshole announcement is just delayed reaction to machinations set in motion long ago. For the few that care enough, plz post about what Yahoo's doing that's fantastic and new that's showing growth.

    P.S.
    This is not ANTI YAHOO FUD, but my personal conclusions from what I know. Take it with a grain of salt and an eye for how you can find out for yourself.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NineNine (235196)
      (if you're lucky enough to avoid contractor-dom)

      Little do you realize, but being a contractor instead of a "permanent" person in the IT industry has many, many benefits, such as much higher pay (Even without benefits), either not working mind-boggling hours, or at least being compensated for it, an ability to ignore beauracracy, an ability to go from project to project with no "job-hopper" penalty, the ability to take long vacations whenever we felt like it (between jobs), etc., etc.
      • I don't like working contract because I like having a long-term effect on the evolution of a product. But given my recent history, maybe I should just give up on that notion. :-( I've only worked one place where I felt I had a significant impact on their business. I worked there twice in fact.

      • by Jack9 (11421)
        Being a contractor for a company with a large stock and capital portfolio is not preferable to being a perm. Being a contractor means they cut you first then ask you to come back when it suits them. Being a part-time contractor for small-medium companies is a reasonable argument. You don't actually think Yahoo fires you then invites you back contract for double the pay? That's just wishful thinking.
    • by hondo77 (324058)

      ...lower benefits...

      Sorry but as much as it sucked to work there, they had great benefits.

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @07:56PM (#16900318)
    'I've heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular. I hate peanut butter. We all should.'

    This is so utterly bankrupt. HE IS THE MANAGEMENT, HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STRATEGY. Laying off 15-20% and not going after the problem - bad strategy, incompetance at the top. This sort of turmoil will only cause the talented people in Yahoo to bail out and find more rewarding opportunities.

    The stock market is going to pummel Yahoo. It is one thing to drive costs down through keeping the number of employees down, it is another thing altogether to show signs that senior management has no fucking idea about what they are doing.

    • by OakDragon (885217)
      What they need is a bungee boss to jump in and change everything, and quickly, before he gets fired.
    • by DingerX (847589)
      Yeah, well, for one, consolidation is not always the solution. Take GM's Saturn, for one. They created an entirely new division, with a different philosophy and entirely separate revenue stream. Then, to "streamline things", they integrated it. Killed off sales, collateral hit another division (Oldsmobile), and the result is "yet another GM car"; oh yeah, and they're in serious financial trouble now. (Though that I just blame on corporate stupidity for riding the SUV streetcar all the way to the end of the
      • I have had yahoo mail for about 3 years. I average about 1 junk mail a week in my inbox, and I delete my junk mail box once a week. Fine by me for a free mail system.

        It's not stellar - their ads are far too aggressive. But one's email grows into an identity, and I have no serious excuse to change. I only change providers of services when serious problems arise. I used to use AOL until 4 years ago - various forces led me to quit. The recent Search Catastrophe cinched the derision.

        As for other services, Yahoo
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kisrael (134664)
        Heheh, a few years ago I heard someone suggest how Saturn could have remained unique: by going ALL hybrid, and the focus of GM's pushes in that direction... they could have kept up their mandate of being a "different" car company, even if the management thing had dragged them back into the fold.

        I thought it was a cool idea, anyway.
    • by 5KVGhost (208137)
      This is so utterly bankrupt. HE IS THE MANAGEMENT, HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STRATEGY.

      Well, sort of. He is a VP. In the real world, however, corporate VPs are not demigods or dictators. They can't fire off an email and make "strategy" happen without the support of their peers and the concurrence of their subordinates. That's true even at small organizations. In a company that has autonomous divisions and decentralized control like Yahoo the problem is much worse. In fact his main complaint seems to be that
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seriously, why can't a company that is making a ton of profit utilize their money to provide even more services to people?
    What does this VP think Yahoo should fixate on? Does he really think Yahoo can be leaps and bounds beyond competition in one space? Does he have creative ideas for how this would happen? How long does he think one revenue stream can be milked for, staying focused in one market sector results in revenue stagnation and suddenly when a paradigm shifting competitor arrives you're screwed ..
  • The problems with Yahoo is that it is now run by business idiots. They will follow the same road as AOL.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Normal people drunk dial, VP's drunk memo.

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Saturday November 18, 2006 @08:18PM (#16900502)
    ..... I thought it was another mod for Grand Theft Auto.
  • Well, there goes the crunchy peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly premixed divisions.
  • I, for one, welcome our peanut butter overlords.
  • Why did he need the NYT to provide a wake-up call? He's a senior VP, he's been there for three years and, by his own cheerful admission, his company's strategy and organisational structure are screwed. Shoddy leadership, no accountability, no direction, massive redundancy, and a mass exodus of the valuable staff.

    Who's fucking fault is that? What's he been doing for the last three years? Why has he allowed Yahoo!!! to get into its current state?

    The implicit admission being that he is one of the people
  • Man, it must such to be the journalist who wrote the article inspiring this memo. Responsible (indirectly) for 15-20% of all staff being layed off? Ouch.

    Also: "At the risk of being redundant..": I'd guess you aren't the one risking redundancy here, Brad.
  • When companies talk reengineering they mean layoffs, but it needn't be this way: They should focus on waste reduction, business process improvement, quality, and innovation. Reskill existing workers and change positions, do not show loyal people the door!
  • This guy is a typical MBA cut throat loudmouth who thinks he should run yahoo.com:

    http://www.ptc.org/events/ptc06/program/speakers/g arlinghouse.html [ptc.org]

    He became president of dialpad.com from working at the venture capital company that funded dialpad, when dialpad was bought by yahoo.com they inherited this master of the obvious.

    Notice he has virtually ZERO technology education, he is a diametrically opposite of Google.com management, yahoo's competitor (actually yahoo is google's bitch). Yet they continue to
  • its peanut butter jelly time!
  • I have found Yahoos services to be among the better ones on the internet, so I dont really see what he is talking about. The yahoo services I use work better than any other.
  • by mpapet (761907) on Sunday November 19, 2006 @12:29AM (#16901800) Homepage
    This screed reeks of the Good Manager's First Priority: Blaming someone else. In this case it's the whole fscking organization.

    I think it's reasonable to assume this guy's department has as many problems as the next department except he's doing the classic pre-emptive management tactic of shifting blame by calling out someone else.

    They are your worst kind of manager. They stink up the whole organization as soon as they drop their first pre-emptive strike. Get out quick because they tend to drag everything down and stay around launching strike after strike on others and collect hefty bonuses at the end of the fiscal year.

    What makes it so insidious is they get all of the people that want a better organization (change advocates) behind them because jackasses like this blindly fire salvo after salvo around the organization. The change advocates typically don't like the person in question but see any kind of change as "Better than it was." It turns the departments in the work environment into a fortress.

    I can't imagine a job that would be worth staying in with nut jobs like this.
  • Don't these managers realize it's expensive as hell to fire someone? Typically a company has a significant amount of money invested in someone in the HR process, training and up-training, job acclamation, etc. It takes years and thousands to get teams of people working at such a state where they are productive and profitable. Not to mention the negative effects on morale a large lay off causes and the associated losses in skilled workers (either by will or forcefully) and productivity.

    If the current stru
  • Brad - the writer of this memo - was rumoured to leave Yahoo for Myspace. He's supposed to be a disgruntled man for a long time - and this memo could be one of those angy outbursts. Not that what he wrote is not right, but for sure there's more to it than just plain loyalty thing.

    Read http://www.valleywag.com/tech/top/yahoos-brad-garl inghouse-will-defect-to-myspace-157314.php [valleywag.com] or Google on this guy.
  • From http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Garlinghouse_Brad_ 1 926763.aspx [zoominfo.com] :

    Brad Garlinghouse joined Yahoo! in 2003 as vice president of communications products, responsible for strategy, management, development, and financial performance. Mr. Garlinghouse is an expert on the intersection of communications and the Internet. He previously served as CEO of Dialpad Communications, one of the world's largest providers of PC-based telecommunications services. Under his direction, the company's user base grew from just

  • Okay the subject is funny, but does WayneCorp focus on one product? Hardly.

    Actually, try this experiment:

    Take two pieces of toast
    Spread peanut butter on one of them
    Leave the other one plain
    Drop a couple of nice new crisp dollar bills on both slices
    pick them both up and turn them upside down
    which one has money on it?

    Google definitely offers a peanut-butter style (whatever that even means) technology strategy, and it seems to work. Actually, for a technology company, diversity is probably the best thing you
  • In our postmodern touchy-feely sort of world everyone tries to condone each other in the name of perspective, but I can't do that now.

    After 3 years tenure Brad Garlinghouse is calling for 15-20% layoffs for what reason? I read the memo and from what I can tell his goal is to have a streamlined company with clear vision that stands out in the market as #1. This is a fine goal to have, provided that it's realistic. (Anyone work in corporate America - hello?) Unfortunately, from what I can tell what he wants i
  • Lately I have been actively avoiding Yahoo, even though as recently as a year ago I was spending a lot of time in their portal.

    The rewrite of the yahoo message boards is a fiasco. Never has something that was working so well been turned into something that is all but unusable. For example, the pages are slow to load and navigation is abysmal, a combination of problems that causes frustration - when the poor navigation causes you to land on the wrong page, it takes a long time to back out and find your wa

  • 'Gandalf, I'm beginning to feel worn..stretched....like butter scraped over too much bread.'
  • I just hope they don't kill Flickr, shoehorn it into Yahoo! Photos, or lay off the original developers and replace them with someone who doesn't get the Flickr community or the concepts behind it. Flickr, with its social networking, its tags and groups and its refreshingly nonproprietary APIs and data feeds, is a lot more usable than anything developed in-house at Yahoo! It'd be a shame if it became just another Yahoo! service.

    One minor casualty of Yahoo!'s ownership of Flickr has been geocoding usability.
  • I wonder if this guy is upset because his particular subset of Yahoo! didn't get all of the budget that he thought they should? I hear the people that say Yahoo! should focus on something "great" - but you know what, a lot of people who say that really mean "do something that makes the stock price go up, so I can unload and make a killing rather than the profit I would currently make, which I feel is meager". Yahoo does a lot of things that are "good enough". Yes, they could use improvements, but on the o
  • Yahoo is no different then the old multi-line monolithic BBSs that did everything for everybody. Look where those ended up...

    I recently logged into Yahoo for the first time in years. All I wanted to do was get added to an email list! Instead of being able to submit my email address and walk away, I had to jump through hoops to figure out my old yahoo ID and password. What a pain in the ass!

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington

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