Really, Yahoo. What Is Taking So Long?

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:

  • The Papal conclave for the selection of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005
  • The Papal conclave for the selection of Pope John Paul II in 1978
  • The average birth of a human baby

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?


Feature image of Scott Thompson courtesy of Flickr user YodalAnecdotal via Creative Commons license