Carol Bartz Answers User-Submitted QuestionsBy: Doug Caverly - May 27, 2009
Two weeks ago, readers of the official Yahoo blog (creatively titled Yodel Anecdotal) were asked to submit questions for Carol Bartz, the company’s still-newish CEO, to answer. Those answers came back today, and they include several interesting tidbits.
The first comment we’ll hit shows what Bartz has come to perceive as her company’s strengths and weaknesses. She wrote, "I’m most surprised by how good Yahoo! is at connecting people to their worlds. I hadn’t realized that half of the Net users in the world come to Yahoo! every month, and that more people spend time on our site every month than any other site in the US. . . . [M]y biggest disappointment is that although we have all these wonderful sites – like being #1 in eleven categories – we really didn’t focus enough on what we were good at."
That last line undoubtedly connects to the different cuts Bartz has made. It might also be a sign that more are on the way.
Next, Bartz tried to sum up Yahoo’s reason for being, and she chose the word "relevance," "whether that means knowing what weather to give you or serving up headlines you’ll be interested in. It’s all about really getting you and we have more work to do in that area." So expect more attempts at personalization as Yahoo rolls out its new homepage.
Finally, as for what’s happened between Yahoo and Microsoft, Bartz wouldn’t answer a question about what Steve Ballmer’s like. And yet Yodel Anecdotal included the query and response. Whether that’s a sort of sly insult (not saying anything when she can’t say something nice), a silence out of respect for ongoing negotiations, or something else entirely is anyone’s guess.
Regardless, it still sounds like Bartz has a clear idea of where Yahoo is, where she wants it to be, and how to bridge the gap.