Posted by: on May 14, 2012

What’s Happening

Scott Thompson is reportedly the next Yahoo CEO  to step down from his executive position, according to AllThingsD. Thompson is resigning after a scandal came to light regarding his claim of having a computer science degree, which proved to be falsified.

Aside from the fact that Thompson has years of experience as an executive in Silicon Valley, his past did not provide him immunity to the ethical issue of not having a degree in computer science, despite claiming otherwise. Previously Thompson served as President, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Paypal, where he supervised information technology, product development and site architecture. Prior to Thompson’s resignation, he was attempting to turn around the company by reducing the number of employees at Yahoo! by cutting 2,000 jobs.

Who’s Taking Over

For now, Ross Levinsohn has been named as the interim CEO of Yahoo! with a strong bid to become the permanent CEO. Prior to being named as the interim CEO at Yahoo!, Levinsohn was the company’s EVP (Executive Vice President). Levinsohn was brought in under the previous CEO, Carol Bartz; he’s also held in high esteem inside the company and throughout the industry.

Before coming to Yahoo!, Levinsohn was president of Fox Interactive Media. Now he’s faced with the daunting task of turning Yahoo! around, and a decision of whether or not to endorse the plan already put into place by Thompson. Levinsohn is just the latest in a long line of CEO’s that have captained the sinking ship known as HMS Yahoo! over the past three years.

Why You Should Care

Unsurprisingly, Yahoo! lost its dominance in the search engine world a long time ago. What was once easily one of, if not THE leading search engine for all Internet users, has lost much of its market share to Google and Microsoft’s Bing. That said, Yahoo! is still very popular all over the world, especially in Korea, where its keyword searches are most defined.

So why should the regular user, like you and me, care about this former giant now turned inept adolescent? The reason is simple, lots and lots of people still use Yahoo!. The empire is surely crumbling, but until every stone is laid to rest, people will still be using the services offered. SEO specialists and business owners with an interest in European searches will definitely want to stay in the loop with what happens next, as Yahoo! is still a mainstay in Europe and still holds a very large market share.

My Thoughts

If Yahoo! would like to retake dominance within the search engine world, it should imitate Google. The saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” does not apply to Yahoo!, a more appropriate adage would be “imitation is the best form of flattery.” Performing an analysis of Google and seeing where the giant is lacking, will provide Yahoo! a starting point to capitalize on those facets.

This might help it corner the market in certain aspects. Once they’ve established themselves in the various niches, they could even begin to expand their services to directly compete with Google as they would have already established their base audience. However, the most important thing for Yahoo! to do at this stage is to keep a CEO longer than 5 to 6 months at a time and provide stability to employees, shareholders and stakeholders. Having a revolving door at the CEO position does not help a company that is already perceived to be sinking.

What’s your opinion on Yahoo!’s future? What would you recommend? Will this CEO be able to stay longer then the five short months that Thompson was there? What should the next steps be in regaining lost footage in the search engine world? Let us know your opinion in the comments. Or, if you just want to talk shop, shoot me an email at Jason@lgdcom.com.

LGD Communications