John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Bartz: Yahoo Is the Largest Communications Engine in the World

Technical difficulties prevented me from liveblogging Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz’s appearance at of Yahoo’s investor day. Below is a summation of her remarks.

bartz-150x150Much has changed at Yahoo since May 17, 2006, the last time the company held an investor day gathering. In May 2006, Yahoo’s shares traded at about $30 and the company claimed 28.98 percent of the U.S. search market. Today, its stock is worth a little over $16 and its share of the search market has fallen to 18.8 percent.

Ugly declines, both of them. Fitting then, that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, speaking at the company’s first investor day gathering in three-and-a-half years, would describe the company’s future as “a journey back to respect.” “We are not here to wow you today,” Bartz said “We are here to intrigue you.”

What follows is a brief historical overview of Yahoo (YHOO)–“Yahoo was the big shining star, then wasn’t”–and then a redefinition of the company as that more intriguing entity to which Bartz referred earlier. “We are not a search company, we are not a display company,” she said. “We are a broad-based Internet company….We are the largest communications engine in the world.”

Communications engine? Sounds like a sneaky way of avoiding comparisons with Google (GOOG). Not that anyone makes them anymore.

Anyway, Bartz continues, playing up Yahoo’s scale, diversity of content and technology. “We combine amazing editorial with very sophisticated machine-learning,” she says. But what makes Yahoo most unique, says Bartz, is the company’s ability to learn from its mistakes. “We have fallen and we really want to get back up. If you haven’t had good times and bad times, you don’t know what you’re doing. We prefer the good times. We have passion to get back there. Today is the start of that.”