Monday, June 18, 2007

Yahoo Chief Terry Semel Steps Down - Founder Returns

While I was at eBay Live I spoke with Chris Tsakalakis, VP and General Manager of StubHub and he asked me if I wrote about anything other than eBay? My answer was, eBay gives me too much material. Today Chris, in your honor, I write about something other than eBay.

Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo has stepped down and is being replaced by co-founder, Jerry Yang. I don't know either man so I am basing this post on observation alone. I think it was definitely time for Semel to leave as Yahoo has been floundering of late and new blood will be good for the company but I think that Jerry Yang may be a short term solution. It is very rare that a company founder is able to turn things around. Steve Jobs did it, Bill Gates may actually have to step back into Microsoft one day and Michael Dell is trying to turn around the company he founded right now. I think, in most cases, turnarounds need someone who is outside of the company to make the hard decisions. Terry Semel was able to turn around Yahoo at one time and was praised for tripling Yahoo's stock price. Remember, Jerry Yang has been at Yahoo through both downturns. I hope I am wrong, I would like nothing better than to add Jerry Yang's name to the list of founders who saved their company.


Anonymous said...


I'm flattered you would post in my honor. Just for the record, I don't believe that Jerry ever really ran Google. Terry Semel was preceded by Tim Koogle who was there from about the time Yahoo went public in 1996.


Randy Smythe said...

Of course you are correct sir. So maybe I shouldn't compare him to Jobs and Dell.

Thanks for stopping by.