Seeking Alpha has a long story outlining Yahoo CEO Terry Semel’s failings since his hiring in 2001, and basically calls for his head on a platter. The bottom line: Google has grown its shareholder value 21 times more efficiently than Yahoo during the time Semel has been at the company. Semel supporters point out the Yahoo did buy Overture, keeping them in the game, but others note that Semel had the opportunity to buy Google instead for $3 billion or so in 2002 (Yahoo also didn’t buy YouTube or MySpace when the opportunity came up). The article also mentions Semel’s total compensation over the last 5 years – $550 million.
Panama is off to a brisk and surprisingly strong start (more on this in an upcoming post). Forgetting Semel for a moment, it may be the single most important factor keeping Yahoo an independent company in the near term. It also might be the product that allows Semel to keep his job, or at least make a graceful exit later this year.