CEOs Say The Darnedest Things

Schmidt, Ballmer, Bartz Chat Up Investors

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A year later, a Microsoft and Yahoo assault on Google still can’t be ruled out. Steve Ballmer says he’s still interested, and even though Yahoo’s new chief won’t kiss and tell, her apparent lack of confidence in her company is telling enough.

And what does Google CEO Eric Schmidt have to say to potential MicroHoo, search, and Twitter competition?

Good luck, kids.

The CEOs, speaking at different venues this week, offered rather unusual insight into how they see the current state of the Web world and what happens next. Ballmer acknowledged he still would “like to figure out how to pool somehow Microsoft and Yahoo,” and hopes to have a “reasonable conversation” about it with the new management.

Interesting choice of words given the heated (perhaps unreasonable) rhetoric that pumped out Yahoo HQ last year, especially between Jerry Yang, Kevin Bostock, and Carl Icahn.

Yahoo’s new CEO, Carol Bartz was noticeably less defiant about the topic. At the end of January, Bartz maintained Yahoo was a “fantastic internet property” and rebuffed the idea that the company should be stripped down and sold for parts. This week, although she listed search alongside email and the Yahoo portal as cores of the company, she refused to comment publicly about Microsoft negotiations before trash-talking her own company.

In addition to creating a “wall of shame” for bad Yahoo products, she admitted she used Google Maps instead of Yahoo Maps, and didn’t believe Yahoo had what it took to invent the next Facebook.

Well how’s that for transparency? It’s also a chink in that armor of pride cofounder Yang had put up for most of last year.

Schmidt expressed doubt about a Yahoo-Microsoft match-up and didn’t hesitate to bring up Microsoft’s interference with Google’s own deal with Yahoo. Schmidt expressed concern about Microsoft’s ability to “restrict consumer choice” and wished them both luck, which sounds almost like a veiled expect-some-payback threat, much like the antitrust payback Google’s giving Microsoft in Europe this year.

As for Twitter, recently touted by the [Insert giant company]-killer crowd as the next big Google threat, Schmidt at the same Morgan Stanley conference relegated Twitter to a “poor man’s email system,” so he may not be shaking in his expensive boots just yet.

Not that Schmidt’s overconfident. He did say the battle for search supremacy wasn’t over, but it may be he thinks Google has bigger fish to fry than any one of those other companies. Though he feels Google is better prepared to handle the economic crisis than other companies, he admitted Google is not immune to a “pretty dire” economic situation that “does not appear to have a current bottom.” That will affect the online advertising market, and will affect Google.

And if it affects Google, it’ll surely affect Yahoo worse. Time is ticking Ms. Bartz, and Ballmer’s probably looking like a very attractive date all of a sudden.    


CEOs Say The Darnedest Things
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  • http://dating.co.uk Jones Jitter

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

  • http://www.lexolutionit.com Maneet Puri

    This seems to be huge. I guess we’ll have to wait and watch where this leads to..

  • http://www.gocompareremovals.co.uk/ Cheap Removals Man

    Really can’t see how you can compare Twitter and Google tbh.

  • Rafael

    Excuse me, Carol, but although Google maps looks better, Yahoo! maps consistently gives better directions. Even going out of my own residential complex, only Yahoo! maps is able to find the best route. Try tasting your own food every now and then, Ms. Bartz.

    • William

      I have the same experience. Google maps will either send me on an odd path or to the wrong place. Yahoo seems to get it right.

  • http://www.forkliftsnationwide.com forklifts

    I’m sorry but the opportunity for money from yahoo and msn(live) has been dead for awhile. All I hear is Google this and Google that. I love to have options and additional choices. I hope if/ever a merger happens they will segregate themselves from what G’s doing and go down a different route with search.

  • http://www.atlantadentalcenter.com Atlanta Dentist

    I really don’t see Twitter being a treat to Google. First Twitter does not have a superior search function nor the man power and funding like Google does…..

  • http://www.eztrip.com/ Hotels

    Comparing Google and Twitter is like comparing apples and oranges. They server two totally different purposes.

    Search is less of an evolution imho than Twitter is in he lifecycle of communication. Google will buy Twitter within the next 3 years I’m sure.


  • http://www.internet-empire.com Singapore SEO Expert

    I don’t trust Steve Ballmer. He’s just a super Salesman.

  • http://www.andremoves.com Andremoves

    ime to i will wait ot see how it turns out too kepp updates

  • http://www.itchimes.com Web Development Company

    Good matter. I think google maps showing old path.

  • http://www.hphelpyou.co.uk manvanLondon

    We can not compare the Google and Twitter is like comparing apples and oranges !
    Good to use on my business
    London man with van too.

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