Yahoo Reorg, The Inside Story

The widespread criticism of the Yahoo reorganization announced on Tuesday has been a one sided affair – outsiders looking in. Much of the criticism while warranted, has become to personal. Was getting rid of CEO Terry Semel, the quick fix the erstwhile Internet leader needs? Nearly 36% of our readers didn’t think it was the going to help, versus 27% who thought it would help turn the ship around.

What do the Yahoos think? We did not hear much from inside of the company, up until last night when we came across a post on Jonathan Strauss’ blog. It is perchance that we stumbled upon this post. Strauss, who has a little transcript of the webcast, defends the company’s recent actions, and feels optimistic about the future.

At the next all-hands. Just as a reminder. I’m sorry I didn’t do it today. I’m gonna put up there all of the press reports on how Yahoo! was going out of business 5 years ago. And of how we were gonna be swallowed up by AOL, owned by Time-Warner, and by Microsoft, and by everybody else. And Yahoo! looked like it had a dim future. Well those headlines, of course, were used to wrap a lot of fish in a lot of people’s houses, as the expression goes. And they were all full of shit, and they had no idea what we had planned for them. And they do not now as well!

“So, we could read about how I’m gonna join some retirement home. And we could read about how the company doesn’t have a vision. And we could read about how we can’t do this and we can’t do that. Trust me, they will be as full of shit this time as they were last time.” (Terry Semel, Yahoo CEO on the webcast.)

There is a tiny little paragraph at the end of Strauss’ post which tells you that there is a pocket of resistance (so to speak) inside Yahoo, which sees the big picture clearly.

I hate to break it to all of you, but the Internet isn’t about technology. Cisco is a technology company, Yahoo! is a consumer services company — the fact that those services are delivered via IP is just a detail. The people who fault Terry for not knowing how IP switching works might as well have criticized Ted Turner for not knowing how to install a cable head-end.

Thank you! No all Yahoo has to do is stop obsessing with Google. Just focus on five things: make email the best experience in the world, make Yahoo finance better, use blogs and social media and build great media destinations, and of course, make better.

I personally think of Yahoo as a consumer brand, not a technology company. Yahoo is a media company. It knows how to aggregate content pretty well, and it has the audience & has the ability to monetize it well. (My post from yesterday)

PS: We met Strauss before at the Widgets Live conference, and as a result we have him in our feed reader. If there are other Yahoo employees who would like to send me their blog links, please email me, so I can stay in touch with you.