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February 12, 2008

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b

It used to be that decisions at Y! were made lower in the organization. The decisions that were made at the top generally were made with serious input from the folks who were impacted. That all changed with the arrival of Semel. Instead, like you said, decisions were made in a vacuum at the top without any true input from the foot soldiers and no transparency into the decision-making process. From what I hear, Jerry and Sue are reversing the decision-making process back to its earlier incarnation. The major initiatives Y! embarked on came from lower in the organization and have gotten input from across a broad spectrum of yahoos rather than the vacuum of semel days of yore. Not only that, but I've been told that Jerry has sent much more frequent updates to the staff in both email and video form. And I've been told that yahoos are much more aware of and understand the mission than just a few months ago.

My take is that Microsoft will be well served by keeping yang and filo if it does complete its purchase, even for a year or two. Retaining them will help stave off some of the inevitable outflow of talent.

mlvlvr

Compare some of this to Intel, where I worked from '84 to '01.

Intel, with more than 80k people, has maybe 150 VPs. Yahoo's been promoting for titles but not authority. There isn't that much authority to go around.

Also, at Intel, everyone was channeling ASG around the clock. Didn't Doug Coupland compare Intel to a hive of ants in Microserfs? Everyone thought one thing, to the detriment of diversification it was said, but as long as they did, Intel did kick the daylights out of the competition. Channeling CRB didn't turn out to be as successful.

kevind

@b "My take is that Microsoft will be well served by keeping yang and filo if it does complete its purchase, even for a year or two. Retaining them will help stave off some of the inevitable outflow of talent."

I seriously doubt there is even a chance that Yang and Filo will be kept on after the takeover. Yang especially has already made his views clear. The target of a hostile takeover is rarely allowed to retain their top management. The tragedy is that Semel's style is much closer to Balmer's and likely paved the way for the takeover.

Survived the Layoff

Did you ever work here? You seem to understand the place pretty well. :)

Chris Sacca

Survived the Layoff - Thanks for the kind words!

b - Interesting perspective and thanks for the insight. That said, I have to agree with Kevin D. I think it is unlikely MSFT would keep those guys around after the deal.

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