What’s Yahoo To Do?

Is there any way the once-great Internet company can reclaim its former glory?

Farhad Manjoo

Fired Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. Click image to expand.Fired Yahoo CEO Carol BartzGive Carol Bartz a break. When she was hired as CEO early in 2009, Yahoo was a floundering, once-great company that needed to slim down and reorganize to reckon with a future dominated by Google and social-networking giants. When she was fired as Yahoo’s CEO on Tuesday afternoon, Yahoo was still a floundering, once-great Internet company. In two and a half years under Bartz, however, the firm had certainly slimmed down and reorganized. Bartz shed many popular but underperforming sites—including Delicious and MyBlogLog—and laid off a couple thousand people. Employees didn’t love this, of course, but if you look at the financials, Bartz was vindicated. In her first full year as CEO, net income rose 43 percent, and in her second year, it rose 105 percent. All the while, Yahoo remained an enormously popular destination. When Bartz took over, Yahoo’s collection of sites ranked just behind Google’s in ComScore’s list of Top 50 Web properties. Two years later, it was just ahead of Google.

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