So, to the speculation that Sue Decker, CFO of Yahoo, is being
lined up to succeed Terry Semel as boss of the aimless internet
giant: it’s a pleasant daydream, for various reasons I’ll go
into, and a really misconceived idea. What Yahoo needs to do is
to hire a product nazi.
I’ve said it before and will say it again: the CEO of any company needs to live and breathe the products and services the company creates. That’s why Steve Jobs is a great CEO for Apple: he understands and loves Apple’s products. The problem with Terry Semel is simply that he’s not a web guy, and Yahoo is the prototypical web company. I don’t think replacing him with a CFO changes that equation at all.
I’m not saying it is (or isn’t) a realistic possibility, but my pick for Yahoo CEO would be Caterina Fake. I know, all she does is run little ol’ Flickr, but Flickr is the best product Yahoo owns. Not the most popular, not the most profitable, but the best. Almost everything Yahoo does ought to be more like Flickr in some ways. Read this interview with Fake in .Net magazine and tell me she doesn’t completely understand the web.
★ Thursday, 30 November 2006