It seems like it was just yesterday when there were two internet companies poised to take over the online world. Yahoo and Google. The company that seized every opportunity that came its way was Google.
Yahoo was late to the party on more than one occasion. Not only were they late for the party, most of the time they didn’t even show up. If they showed up, they were too late.
Yahoo has a history of management and business mistakes that make many outsiders shake their head. A few that stick out to me are explained below:
Microsoft Offers $50 Billion in 2008
According to numerous reports, Microsoft offered to acquire Yahoo for close to $50 Billion in 2008. This is the year after Jerry Yang took over the company as CEO. He didn’t accept this offer because at the time he felt it was too low.
The craziest thing is that Wang asked then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for an additional $5 Billion. When Ballmer got word of this the offer came off the table.
Think of it this way, in the next few days, Yahoo is officially going to be the property of Verizon for around $5 Billion when 8 years ago they could have sold for close to $50 Billion.
Talk about a mistake.
Carol Bartz’ Feud With Jack Ma
After Wang’s bad decision of not selling Yahoo to Microsoft, he was relieved of his duties and software CEO Carol Bartz entered Yahoo as the new CEO.
For some reason, Carol had a strained relationship with Alibaba’s CEO Jack Ma, which Yahoo owned a significant stake in at the time.
You might be thinking what does this have to do with anything?
Think of it this way. Bartz decided to not get along with a man that as of this article is worth over $20 Billion. So basically 4x the value of Yahoo’ selling price. That sounds like a major mistake no matter how much you didn’t like the guy.
Alibaba in 2014 had the largest IPO in history at $25 Billion. I don’t need to do the math on this one for you. It’s pretty safe to say that yet again Yahoo made a terrible mistake by not playing nice with Alibaba or its CEO and one of the world’s richest men.
Thinking Marissa Mayer Was Their Saviour
When Marissa Mayer was hired as the CEO of Yahoo it was said she would bring the company back to its dominance. Well, that surely did not happen. Hence why they are about to sell the company.
Mayer was a bright computer scientist coming over from Google but she ultimately had no idea what she was getting herself into. She led the production of some of Google’s top products for 10 years before she took the job with Yahoo.
Leading the production team of a well-greased business machine like Google is way different than taking over a disgruntled company in disarray like Yahoo.
She found this out the hard way and at least she gave it an honest shot. The positive for her is that according to reports in USA Today, with the sale of Yahoo she is expected to make around $55 Million in severance payouts and benefits.
Not a bad chunk of change to start her next company or rejoin Google.
The Fall of an Internet Giant
It’s a shame to see one of the first internet companies falter as much as Yahoo has with its decisions. The thing that I really factor into this whole situation is the fact that in my world they have been non-existent for most of my life.
Google is my choice and the choice of the majority of people on the internet today. The fact that no one says to go “Yahoo” something shows that Yahoo never did stand a chance against its fierce competitor Google.
Clinton Senkow is the Co-founder & COO of Influencive where he manages and oversee’s all business development and partnership activities for Influencive. He’s also the CEO of Senkow Ventures which is a digital consultancy for high-growth startups and SMB’s, a member of the invite-only Forbes Business Development Council, and was named a “Top 20 Speaker by Forbes”. He’s also a three-time Top G20 YEA Entrepreneur representing Canada.