Over the past few years, Yahoo has been having a pretty hard time trying to withstand the fast-moving competition. In the dog-eat-dog world the IT business is, Yahoo tried different approaches, which all eventually failed. Three years, three CEOs for Yahoo but no positive results.
Yahoo’s latest executive to leave the board of Directors was under a lot of pressure lately. Scott Thompson had a hard time lately trying to fight accusations regarding this academic record. In the end, under pressure and (now) reports of thyroid cancer, the CEO resigned.
Although Yahoo is by now used with such abrupt changes of management, the company is still in a difficult place. Scott Thompson will be replaced by Ross Levinsohn, the head of media and advertising services at Yahoo. Given the abrupt management change and Yahoo’s ongoing negotiations over the Japanese stake, you’d expect the board of directors to be a little more affected.
Scott Thompson was lured in by Yahoo in 2011, when he was still president of PayPal. He managed to stay on board for just four months before resigning. He was hired by Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock and received the approval of another four Yahoo directors. Coincidence or not, all of them are going to leave the company sooner than what they once announced.
For Yahoo the trouble with Scott Thompson can be even more damaging than imagined, given that the company stood by him during the academic record issue. It was initially ruled to be an “inadvertent error”, but after the media, employees and shareholders made a fuss about it, Yahoo changed its policy. The company appointed a committee that would investigate the “inadvertent error” in Scott Thompson’s academic record.
Some people said that Scott Thompson was a bad choice for Yahoo from the beginning. Analyst Carlos Kirjner told Business Week that Thompson’s PayPal work experience should have disqualified him for a CEO position at Yahoo. “It is very different to be CEO of a growth company, making choices between opportunities, and to be CEO of a company in turnaround mode, whose parts are declining or losing share” said Kirjner.
So, three years, three CEOs for Yahoo and the last one survived here only for a couple of months. How long do you reckon the next Yahoo CEO will stay in function?