What’s next for Yahoo?


Which way is the wind blowing for Yahoo? (Paul Sakuma/AP)
September 7, 2011

On the sudden news that Yahoo Inc.’s Carol Bartz is out as chief executive, speculation is swirling about what the company’s next steps will be.

One major line of speculation is that Yahoo will look at “selling itself to the right bidder.” That information comes from the Wall Street Journal, which cited an unnamed “person familiar with the matter.” At least one analyst, Jefferies’s Youssef Squali has said that Yahoo will almost certainly be sold before a permanent CEO is put in place, Barron’s reported.

Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on reports that it would consider a sale.

Before Bartz stepped in as the company’s chief executive in 2009, then-CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang fought off an unsolicited bid from Microsoft Corp., which the Journal said is unlikely to bid for Yahoo again. But All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher speculated that several potential suitors, such as the private equity firm Silver Lake, AT&T and News Corp. may all be looking at grabbing Yahoo. While Yahoo has missed out on a lot of Web trends, it is a valuable media and content creation company.

Business Insider’s Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry opined that Yahoo needs to focus on those strengths, because at the moment, the company brand doesn’t stand for much of anything. The key to changing that perception, Gobry said, is to start creating more original content. People are already spending a lot of time with Yahoo — recent rankings of Web brands from Nielsen showed that users spend an average of about two hours on the site a month, second only to Facebook.

Amid rumors that Yahoo will sell, are others that it’s looking t o buy the online-streaming site Hulu. That acquisition would bump up the time visitors spend on Yahoo and give Yahoo a coveted ad delivery system.

How do you use Yahoo? And what do you think it should do?

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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