In an open letter to new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster outlined a four-part plan turning around the company.
1) Outsource search to Microsoft.
“Search has never been a core competency for Yahoo, and outsourcing will both generate shot-term cash and allow Yahoo to focus on content.”
2) Acquire a major print news company with global scale and stature in addition to a blog network experienced in creating short content to generate significant page views. In particular, he says that the New York Times and Gawker Media would fit this profile.
“These content acquisitions would allow Yahoo to own and distribute a collection of the best content on the Web in addition to generating short-form content to maximize page views and stickiness.”
3) Acquire micro-blogging and social feed aggregation technology companies, like Twitter or FriendFeed.
“The goal of these social broadcasting acquisitions is to help users share and create Yahoo content.”
4) Focus on producing and sharing the best content on the Web.
Gene Munster is a managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, specializing in Internet (US and China) & Digital Media.
Munster’s Internet focus is search, media, and China, including Google, Yahoo!, and Baidu.com. In addition, Munster has covees the Digital Media, including Adobe, Autodesk, and Apple.
Munster has authored several key industry reports on technology and has been recognized by Wall Street with awards from the Institutional Investor (Home Run Hitter), Forbes (Top Stock Picker), and the Wall Street Journal (Best on the Street).
Munster is quoted frequently in key financial and technical news journals.
Carol Bartz, 60, has been CEO of Yahoo for less than two weeks. She has already made the decision to freeze employee salaries. The decision not to provide annual salary increases was designed to strategically reduce Yahoo’s costs without resorting to mass job cuts like Microsoft.
It is estimated that in the forth quarter of 2008 Yahoo laid off 10% of their employees.
Carol Bartz became CEO on Jan 13. She was chosen for her history running public companies, including 14 years as executive chairman of software company Autodesk.
Although having no direct experience of running an internet company, Ms Bartz is thought to have been selected due to her management capabilities and knowledge of the wider technology sector.
It has been suggested that she may have been selected to fulfil a more of a “caretaker” role, readying Yahoo to be sold to Microsoft.