Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 6:31 PM EDT
- Nobody knows the business as well as he and Filo do. These two guys are the corporate DNA. When you walk into the lobby at Yahoo, you are inundated with an internally focused marketing/morale-boosting campaign called "We Were; We Are," complete with black-and-white shots of the early days at the Stanford computer lab, contrasted with colorful modern images of Yang and Filo. They have continued to be intimately involved in the business and know where it needs to go.
- He's already off to a fast start. For a guy who some say was reluctant to take the job, he appeared remarkably energetic in Monday's analyst call announcing the changes. His instincts and alacrity will serve him well.
- He knows how to do deals. Yang architected the very significant partnership with SBC (now AT&T) in early 2001. More recently, in 2005, he did the deal with Alibaba.com. Critics have pointed to Broadcast.com and GeoCities as examples of expensive acquisitions he was involved in that didn't pan out. This was a different time, however, when Yahoo had a different market cap itself. His instincts were correct (on video and social networking, way before they were seen as "growth" areas). He won't be shy to do deals in the months ahead, which the company will benefit from.
- He's got the mental strength. It would not have been easy for Yang to go through the last few days leading up to Monday's announcement. Semel is a friend. Yang wanted it to work. But he was obviously ready to take on this responsibility.
- It's his time. None of us has experience until we get experience. Yang hasn't run a 12,000-person company, but he's worked there every day of his professional life. He's 38, not 25. And heâ€"like Filoâ€"loves this company more than anyone else. More important, though, the two co-founders feel a responsibility for the company. It's a critical time and Yang's ready. My sense from watching Yang at the meeting and since then (and the same goes for Filo) is that the flip has switched. These guys are all-in, in a way they haven't been before.
- Sue Decker's there to help. As a leader, you rely on those around you to help you in areas where you are weaker. Yang's lucky to have someone as capable as Decker working closely with him.