When Yahoo hired Scott Thompson as CEO back in January, many at the company were surely hoping that they’d finally found the game-changing leader they’d so sorely needed for years. Now just four months later, Thompson is only serving to highlight the exact deep-rooted corporate sluggishness that he was meant to upend.
There have been lots of rumors about the internal progress of Scott Thompson’s resume-gate (Kara Swisher at AllThingsD has an especially good handle on these inside scoops.) But in a way, the outwardly confirmed facts of the matter — or really, the lack thereof — increasingly speak for themselves. Each hour that passes without an official decision from Yahoo seems to show that the company is in even worse shape than anyone thought.
Today Yahoo issued a press release announcing it has “formed a special committee to conduct a thorough review of CEO Scott Thompson’s academic credentials.” This is probably supposed to be a sign of progress, but it comes across as just the opposite. The release says that the “special committee and the entire Board appreciate the urgency of the situation,” but do they really? This issue came to light on May 3. Today is May 8.
We all know that Yahoo hasn’t been known for lighting-fast innovation for a long time. An 18-year-old publicly traded global corporation will tend to slow down a bit. But it’s still pretty shocking that the board can’t show some hustle for a situation like this. As Mike Arrington has very artfully written, Yahoo’s rank-and-file employees deserve better.
True story: This year, I received my tax refund check from the state of California exactly four days after I filed my taxes. My tax refund, through snail mail, from California, which is a very large and notoriously mismanaged state that everyone keeps saying is basically going bankrupt. Just for reference, here is a short list of some other pretty complicated things that have lasted (or will last) fewer than five days:
Anyway, we’re considering doing a special TechCrunch logo with Scott Thompson’s face as our own smoke signal sort of vigil to mark the time until the board figures it all out. Any over/under on how long it would be there?
Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Stanford Ph.D. students David Filo and Jerry Yang. It has since evolved into a major internet brand with search, content verticals, and other web services. Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!), incorporated in 1995, is a global Internet brand. To users, the Company provides owned and operated online properties and services (Yahoo! Properties, Offerings, or Owned and Operated sites). Yahoo! also extends its marketing platform and access to Internet users beyond Yahoo! Properties through its distribution network...
Scott Thompson was formerly CEO of Yahoo!. Before taking up this role he served as president of PayPal with overall responsibility for growing the global leader in online payments. Succeeding Rajiv Dutta in 2008, Scott previously served as PayPal’s senior vice president and chief technology officer where he oversaw information technology, product development, and architecture for PayPal. Prior to PayPal, Scott worked for Inovant, a subsidiary of Visa formed to oversee global technology for the organization. As executive vice president...