I like and admire Jerry greatly, and his passion and leadership has been invaluable to Yahoo over the past 13 years. He also knows the Internet business cold. To my knowledge, however, Jerry has never had an operating management role of any kind, not even at the working-group level. And he's now assuming command of a global Fortune 500 corporation. (Management experience ain't everything, but it's something).
Valleywag assumes the appointment is temporary, but the press release sure isn't written that way (If the intent is temporary, why not say so?). Also, once again, the new management responsibilities are carved up in a bizarre multi-fiefdom fashion, in which Sue has control over the "business" and Jerry over "technology." Perhaps someone can explain how Yahoo's business can be separated from its technology? How can Sue drive the business without having control over the technology? How can Jerry make technology decisions without controlling the business? What is going on here?
Here's what I hope is NOT going on here. I hope that Yahoo's board is not simply incapable of making clean, crisp decisions. The bureaucracy thing has plagued Yahoo for years, and it seems as though it might continue to do so. In my mind, the most sensible arrangement would have been Jerry as Chairman and Sue as CEO and the heck with all this fiefdom crap. Sue has run a big percentage of the company for years, and she ran a division at DLJ before that. If Jerry's role is going to be largely inspirational and visionary (which Lord knows the company needs), then in my mind he should be Chairman, not CEO. But perhaps there's some method to the strangeness that someone can enlighten me about.
In any case, thanks again to Terry for six years of service and a gracious exit, and long live the new Yahoo!
I gather they smuggled a second-half earnings whiff into the conference call. Well done. Terry's leaving in the nick of time...