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Questions For Semel, Schmidt, And Sullivan

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There are questions we would love to have answered from some of the top figures in the search industry: a pair of CEOs and the search world’s most respected pundit.

Eric Jackson provided the inspiration on Seeking Alpha for this piece. Jackson solicited users of LinkedIn and Yahoo Answers for questions for Yahoo’s CEO during the company’s upcoming shareholder meeting next week.

We’re just going to put three simple questions out there and see what our readers think of them; comments are welcome below. Please stay on topic, as the “delete as junk” function can be wielded by our admins with unbridled alacrity.

For the esteemed Terry Semel: Your compensation packages in recent years have rewarded you in a nearly inverse proportion to the results you have created in your job. How would you handle an employee whose highly-compensated position at Yahoo yielded far less productivity than one would expect of a staffer at a high pay scale?

It may seem like we’re picking on people here. Bad old negative media, no Coke Zero for you. But we’d actually like to know the answer to that question, as well as others.

We’ll be fair and bring the luckiest CEO in the world, Eric Schmidt, in for a shot as well. Google’s head geek impresses us as being wise enough to keep his hands off the icky code stuff for which they employ smart people to handle.

Google wants a boost in the H-1B cap so they can hire more foreign-born workers, ones whom they believe are highly qualified to work for the search advertising company.

Mr. Schmidt, why do your engineering positions only require a minimum of a B.S. or equivalent experience in computer science, when a much more educated and/or experienced worker may better fit the definition of a “highly qualified” job candidate? Why not a minimum of M.S. or equivalent experience instead?

WebProNews staffers like our fear-inducing managing editor Mike McDonald just returned from Danny Sullivan’s inaugural SMX Advanced conference in Seattle. We have videos and articles from the well-conducted show.

Mr. Sullivan, if you were still in your capacity of Search Engine Strategies host and organizer, would you have attempted to hold a session and ban people from blogging or otherwise covering its contents?

We were surprised to learn the month-long embargo regarding the “Give It Up” session that you agreed to came after much debate. So what’s the story here?

Questions For Semel, Schmidt, And Sullivan
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  • Danny Sullivan

    Damn, David — you were supposed to get all upset over the blogging “ban” before the show and you know, generate a little publicity for us. Where were you a month ago! It’s OK; we sold out all the tickets anyway.

    The session description was pretty clear that we didn’t want things to be blogged out of one particular session. No surprises there for any of the bloggers that attended.

    Did I really think nothing would be blogged. No. Come on — you know things are always going to get blogged. No one can ban or prevent coverage of a public event. The ban was never serious. But it was kind of fun having some last minute “negotiations” with the bloggers as well as Matt Cutts, who we’d threatened to eject.

    We all did agree to a one month embargo on the news at that session. Embargoes are commonly done, as you know. Embargoes also get broken. I just left it to everyone to be on their honor to respect the embargo for a month before blogging their merry hearts out about one particular session. It’ll be fun to see if people keep with it.

    • David A. Utter

      How could I have missed doing this pre-conference? Mea culpa maxima, Danny.