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Francis Santos

Will Yahoo! Small Business Save the Company from CEO Woes?

May 22 2012, 04:58 PM by

Yahoo is a company in turmoil. Despite a respectable first quarter earnings report and what looks to be at least a viable blueprint for recovery, there seems to be very little faith in the man who has been elected to serve as new leader. To say things are not looking good would be putting it mildly.

Investors pushed hard for Yahoo to fire Scott Thompson, the man who just four months ago signed on as Chief Executive Officer for the struggling internet giant. Dan Loeb, founder of Third Point and one of Yahoo’s most vocal investors, explicitly called for Thompson to be fired for the inaccuracies listed on his resume. Padding one’s resume is a big deal in the corporate world, but there is even talk about how this issue could possibly lead to legal troubles for the company.

What makes the resume dilemma even more interesting is the fact that Yahoo acknowledged the inaccuracies. That’s right. The company confirmed that it was aware that Thompson does not really have the degree in computer science he claimed to receive from Stonehill College. And while it supposedly looked into the claim, Yahoo’s response on the matter did not sit well with Loeb, who called it an insult to the firm’s shareholders while reminding the world that CEOs for other companies have been fired for less serious offenses. Yahoo’s newest CEO, Ross Levinsohn, has quite a hill to climb.
Yahoo’s Reconstruction Plan
It seems as if the main focus of Yahoo under Thompson’s direction was downsizing. Last month, the company announced that it would trim roughly 14% of its workforce - which comes to around 2,000 jobs - in addition to consolidating a variety of existing services. However, Yahoo is also being proactive in its approach to survival, and one segment it has decided to target is small businesses.

Yahoo! Small Business, the company’s web hosting service, recently rolled out the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard. It is essentially a new feature that helps small business owners improve their position by putting data connected to brand reputation, site performance and marketing results in a centralized area. So whether it is clicks or page views, Yahoo is providing this tool free of charge so users can find all the information they need in one place.

Here is a brief rundown of what the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard has to offer:
  • Search and Directory Listings - Gives small business the ability to monitor its site’s performance on multiple search engines and directories, including Yahoo!, Yelp and Local. It also helps users uncover new listing opportunities.
  • Reputation Management - Retrieves data from Facebook, Twitter and as many as 8,000 sources to help small businesses monitor and manage their reputations online.
  • Traffic Statistics - Helps small business users understand vital website traffic statistics from Google Analytics and other analytics tools.
  • Campaign Tracking - Enables easy tracking of email marketing, SEM and SEO campaigns.
  • News and Expert Advice - Delivers relevant news stories and tips from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor.
Too Little Too Late?
Targeting small businesses with its rebuilding effort is a smart move, and the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard looks to be a nice addition, but for the ailing web pioneer, it just might be a case of too little too late. While the new tool itself is free to use, components of certain features such as reputation management and campaign tracking do call for a fee. So the real question becomes: Will small businesses be willing to pay for these additional services?

Last year, former CEO Carol Bartz was terminated for her inability to get the company back on track. While things were rocky on Thompson’s leadership, his firing appears to be another self-admission of what everyone else seems to know - Yahoo is going down, and going down hard.

Posted in Current Events, Tech Editorial

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