This week Yahoo’s board fired CEO Carol Bartz, news that rocked the industry and has some debating if the company’s inability to choose between being a media company or a technology provider is to blame. I think we need to look elsewhere and ask: Would Yahoo’s shakeup at the top have happened if the company had been innovating in mobile instead of slipping further behind?
We’ll likely never know the answer. But it’s safe to say that Yahoo’s disjointed mobile strategy was largely responsible for the board’s decision to oust Bartz.
What were the missteps in mobile that cost Yahoo, a company once so close to expanding its prowess in search, social and technology to mobile, its competitive edge? News site mocoNews provides some worthwhile insights and analysis.
It argues that Yahoo made a series of bad moves:
- Yahoo has not committed efforts and investments in the vital area of research and development, and has a lousy track record of starting and stopping initiatives.
- Livestand, the company’s digital newsstand for tablets, is late to market. It was expected to be delivered in the first half of the year.
- Yahoo has failed to grab a significant slice of the search advertising pie, and research firm IDC reports that Yahoo is losing share in mobile advertising.
- There has been frequent and disruptive change at the top of Yahoo’s mobile units.
Ironically, Bartz – who didn’t steer Yahoo back on the mobile course when the company lost the plot– sent her farewell email to employees via an iPad.
I agree with Om Malik ’s view that an acquisition would help Yahoo get back in the mobile game. Malik names Foursquare and Flipboard as possible candidates. As for Flipboard, the social magazine for the iPad has been the leader of the pack since its launch in summer 2010, when it immediately could not keep up with demand. I still use Yahoo, but it is more about personal habit than a conscious choice to be with an innovator. Like everything else in mobile, the story has yet to be written. But this latest shakeup signals that Yahoo is running out of time to be included in the narrative.
(Item first appeared here - http://www.mobilegroove.com/has-yahoo-missed-the-mobile-boat/)