Carol Bartz: Facebook Is Creepy, Apple's iAd Won't Work, And More Gems

The love/hate relationship between Yahoo‘s CEO and the rest of the world continues. Carol Bartz was recently interviewed by USA Today, and couldn’t help being her eloquent self again.

Here’s a round-up:

On Facebook, and Yahoo missing the ‘social’ boat (emphasis ours)

Social does not just equal Facebook. Social is how people interact anywhere.

What I don’t like is when somebody says, “The only way you find social is (the way Facebook operates).” Did we miss the boat on exactly how they do it? Of course we did. Everybody did.

Q: Who’s your biggest single competitor?

A: Facebook — not today, but they could be. If they keep going, they will have the vault of information on everybody in the world, and that’s valuable.

Q: Valuable, to the point of being scary?

A: Yes, creepy. I don’t care to find an old boyfriend. One time, just to see if they got fat and bald, but then leave me alone. But I’m old.

On Apple and iAd (emphasis ours)

Q: You’ve said that Apple exercises too much control over the ads on its devices, and you said that can’t last. Why?

A: If you want to run an ad on the iPad, it has to be approved by Apple. I don’t think it is for us to say this ad isn’t pretty enough and to go through this whole back-end process of approval. I don’t think in the long run that’s going to work.

Advertisers will have other options.

On intrusive advertising (emphasis ours)

Q: These sound very intrusive to me. Sometimes I want to look at the screen and see what I want to see. I don’t want the dog.

A: You can click on any of these and say, “Don’t show me this.”

Q: You are making me do extra work.

A: Oh, excuse me, please. You are getting a lot of value. This is not like a free lunch here. We just opened a data center in Buffalo, and in its first phase it has 50,000 servers. That is not cheap. So the very fact that you get all this great information is part of the deal.

On what Yahoo is (emphasis ours)


Q: Yahoo has great assets, but some people say they don’t know what the company does or where it is going.

A: That exists in New York City and about 30 miles outside Silicon Valley. The rest of the world seems to know.

Yahoo is the largest media company in the world. We are twice as large as the nearest competitor. We do it through innovative technology and bringing people information they need to manage their lives. We serve up — and these numbers I hope will astound you — 10 billion ads a day.

On mobile and the chances of a Yahoo phone/OS

Q: If you get a Google Android phone, all the Google applications just work. You are drawn into their world. Does Yahoo need a device of its own?

A: It isn’t Google that gets to do that: It is what the carrier wants to do. By the way, there are many instances around the world where what comes up are Yahoo applications, not Google applications, even on an Android phone. The only one that actually controls that precisely is Apple.

On Carol Bartz (emphasis ours)

Q: Would you have hired someone like you to be CEO?

A: Let me answer a question you didn’t ask. Am I the perfect person for the job at Yahoo? No. Am I good for the job? Yes.

Perhaps a search for another chief executive might be in order? Unless shareholders and the Yahoo board agree good is good enough, of course. Cough.

(Thanks to Chris Rowley for pointing us to the USA Today article)