>> Quick game. What comes to mind when I say Yahoo!? That was part of an exercise for Yahoo executives during a spring management retreat a decade ago when the internet pioneer was flush with cash and at the top of it's game, says Reuters Global Tech Editor, Jonathan Weber.
>> You do Google Search, Microsoft Windows, eBay Auctions and then they ask people to write down their answer for Yahoo. When they went around the room and open up all the answers, it was all over the map, as this person said. Some people said mail, some people said news, some people said search.
So this really illustrates, I think, the identity crises that the company has had.>> Yahoo this week agreed to sell the company's core assets to Verizon for $4.8 billion and many former Yahoo managers, now business leaders across Silicon Valley, point to missed opportunities and an inability to adapt.
Some were obvious misses, even at the time, Yahoo tried and failed to buy Facebook for $1 billion in 2006, a chance to buy YouTube came and went, and Skype was taken by eBay. But more damaging than the missed deals, the company culture.>> Essentially, Yahoo had this homepage with a tremendous amount of traffic and then it had all these products that were all competing for a space on that homepage.
People spend a lot of time in meetings figuring out which should get priority over that.>> Eventually, Yahoo focused on media, which was lucrative in the short-term, but in the long-term, its reliance on ad revenue turned out to be something of a trap. Then came a $44 billion hostile takeover bid from Microsoft in 2008, which failed, and left an already chaotic management team split and turned the CEO job into a revolving door.
That ended with Marissa Mayer, who was tasked with resuscitating the core business, but ultimately facilitated the end of Yahoo as we know it.