One-hundred-days into her job as Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) CEO, Carol Bartz said she's been on a whirlwind tour of Yahoo's operations, meeting with strategy and product teams, engineers, and ad salesmen. The takeaway? "The importance of having a 'wow' experience for all of our users around the world," she said during Tuesday's earnings call. Later, she described it as trying to create a "kick ass experience." To do so, Bartz said she is focusing on the products that generate the majority of the company's traffic and therefore had the most economic value.
"Getting these products right is imperative," she said. So, Bartz said, the company was discontinuing products and improving some others, while globalizing its product platform to innovate more quickly.
With the company's current setup, she said, it was difficult to roll out products globally. One example: The company's plans for a new home page. "I want to make sure we have the same look and feel through all our (properties)," she said. "Guess what? We can't do it."
Bartz also said that the layoffs the company announced today were not across the board. Instead, she said it was an effort to "streamline our structure globally" and "eliminate duplications," explaining that the company had too many product managers, "none f-ing getting anything done."
She also provided some new details on the company's ongoing reorganization. Bartz said that the company was searching for a new CFO to replace CFO Blake Jorgensen. The company's product and engineering teams are also being combined into a single organization. And Jeff Russakow, an executive at Symantec, will join Yahoo as the company's senior vice president of customer advocacy.
Bartz also said in her introductory comments that while search was a "valuable part" of Yahoothat would be all she would say about the business Tuesday, perhaps a veiled reference to the reports about continued talks with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) about a search partnership. Later, she said that she had "no comment" about any interest from Microsoft.
Asked whether the company's recent decision to sell its stake in Korean auction market Gmarket was a sign of things to come considering the company also has stakes in properties in Japan and China, Jorgensen said it was "very different," describing Gmarket as a "small investment."
By Joseph Tartakoff