Yahoo! Founders Jerry Yang and David Filo Sumo Wrestling
Originally uploaded by Jeremy Johnstone
Ever since Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang was named the company's new CEO, the growing consensus is that he is nothing more than a transitionary CEO until newly-promoted president Susan Decker can take over. I said so myself yesterday on CNBC's Power Lunch. Some people inside Yahoo take issue with this characterization.
So to be fair. and since no one has really laid them out yet, here is the counter-argument for why Jerry Yang may actually be a good choice to lead Yahoo (YHOO) right now.
—The troops inside Yahoo respect him, and that is going to be the key to getting anything done in the increasingly demoralized company.
—Yahoo has all the pieces in place it needs to succeed (Project Panama, social media, widgets, mobile). They just need to all click into place. So Yahoo doesn't need a change in strategy (MySpace rumors aside) so much as it needs better execution of its current, albeit, complicated one.
—Yang understands Yahoo better than just about anybody else. In the words of one Yahoo executive: "I can't imagine a better CEO for a quick turn around. Anyone else would have had to spend quarters and quarters just to get their head around our crazy business."
—His ascendancy means that the engineers are back in charge, which is the only way to fight Google.
—Yang might not be Steve Jobs, but that is not what Yahoo needs right now. What Yahoo needs is a man of the people who can bring its warring divisions closer together.
What do readers think? Is Yang the right man for the job? How long will he be CEO? Comments are open.