Will Scott's Tech-Induced Innovations lead Yahoo Out of the Slump?

Scott ThompsonYahoo! Inc., has found a new Chief Executive Officer - Scott Thompson, who was the President of PayPal, where he built a positive track record by driving customer engagement promoted on strong technology platforms is now at the helm of Yahoo!. With Thompson at the helm, PayPal established itself as the lead global online payment service, growing from 50 million users to more than 104 million worldwide, and 8 million merchant partners globally, growing revenues from $1.8 billion to $4+ billion in 2011. Tim Morse, who has been serving Yahoo! as the interim CEO, will resume his role as Chief Financial Officer. Thompson has also been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors, effective January 9, 2012.

Commending Yahoo's new hire, Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Yahoo! Board said, "Scott brings to Yahoo! a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo!. His deep understanding of online businesses combined with his team building and operational capabilities will restore the energy, focus, and momentum necessary to grow the core business and deliver increased value for our shareholders. The search committee and the entire Board concluded that he is the right leader to return the core business to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation."

In reply, Thompson said, "Yahoo! is an industry icon and I am very excited about the prospect of working with one of the great teams in the online world to deliver Yahoo!’s next era of success. Yahoo! has a rich history and a solid foundation to build on, and its continued user engagement is one of the many reasons for my enthusiasm. With the ultimate goal of delivering the value our shareholders expect, my immediate focus will be on getting to know the entire team and hearing more from all Yahoo!s, working closely with the engineers and product teams, and diving deeply into our products and services to learn more about what our more than 700 million users find most engaging and useful. I will also be working directly with our region leaders and sales teams globally to get a clearer understanding of the needs of our advertisers and publishers. Clearly, speed is important but we will attack both the opportunity ahead and the competitive challenges with an appropriate balance of urgency and thoughtfulness. I cannot wait to get started,” sounding focused on his immediate strategy at Yahoo!. Thompson, is known to have a deeper understanding of technology and product background than Yahoo's former CEO Carol Bartz, who was abruptly terminated last September for lack of turnaround. Before his PayPal stint, Thompson occupied a senior position at a technology subsidiary of Visa after his term as CIO of Barclays Global Investors. The Yahoo board sees Thompson’s diverse mix of skills and capabilities would suit and benefit Yahoo's top position.

Bostock was all praise for Morse saying, "We are all grateful to Tim Morse for leading the company with a steady hand during the last several months. His deep understanding of the Company and his positive approach kept the company on course and we will continue to benefit from his exceptional capabilities as he returns to his Chief Financial Officer role.” With Thompson inheriting the woes that Yahoo! is confronting, the bigger question is whether has the capacity to bring new vigor and focus to Yahoo, the company and the brand — both of which badly need innovation and energy, which has been facing a number of personnel changes and reorganization for the past few years resulting in a damaged Yahoo morale and momentum. It is expected that Thompson’s knowledge and experience with the mobile market would add thrust to Yahoo's mobile ventures which lost its leadership in mobile product development to Google for the past couple of years.

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