According to Silicon Alley Insider, the qualities being sought in the next CEO of Yahoo are:
# “Extensive” experience as the CEO of a public company. Before Microsoft acquired aQuantive for $6 billion, it was a public company (AQNT) with a $2.8 billion market cap and more than 2,000 employees.
# Media expertise. McAndrews certainly gained that helping running Microsoft’s digital side. One of aQuantive’s businesses was the ATLAS publishing platform, which helps publishers pick the right ads.
# Advertising expertise. aQuantive ran three advertising businesses, the ATLAS publishing platform, contextual ad business DRIVEpm and interactive ad agency Avenue A/Razorfish.
# Mergers and acquisitions experience. McAndrews actually knows how to finish a deal with Microsoft having sold aQuantive for $6 billion.
# Strategic skills. After Google bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, Microsft needed to answer. McAndrews made sure aQuantive was it, and for twice as much money.
Notice the thing that’s missing? Technology, that’s what. And it’s long been my pet prejudice that the problems Yahoo is having right now, and has been having for some time, come down to a problem with technical delivery. Yahoo doesn’t scale. Google does. That’s not because of the way it sells advertising, or the way it runs its offices, or the decisions it makes about mergers and acquisitions. It’s because of its technology. Every technology Google develops can roll out worldwide, immediately, in multiple languages and with reach into multiple markets. Hardly any of Yahoo’s products do that. And it’s a technical architecture and delivery problem, pure and simple. Put someone in there who doesn’t understand that, and they’ll get nowhere. Guaranteed.
BREAKING NEW IRONIC UPDATE: And who do Microsoft hire to run their online offerings? An ex-Yahoo technologist.