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Tuesday, 17 January 2017 09:39

Yahoo(w)oes!

By: 

As what is left of the reputation of the internet pioneer, Yahoo, oscillates widely between confirmation and denial of its new name, Altaba – alternative to Alibaba, the Chinese online giant – billions of Yahoo email users, in addition to its corporate clients at many different levels, are bracing themselves for anxious times ahead while biting nails over the fate of their corresponding email addresses.

At present, the Yahoo email users have to go through never-ending login issues, especially when accessing their emails via their smartphones or tablets, bypassing Yahoo mail site.

Although, Yahoo may cite security concerns at the root of the issue - and it may be true to some extent, given the hacking involving over a billion accounts in 2013 – the possibility of making attempts to force customers to its mail page in order to appease its dwindling crowd of advertisers cannot to ruled out.

Yahoo, the search engine that once was almost synonymous with the internet, has been on a downward spiral for years with frequent arrivals and departures of CEOs, who failed to turn things around. Against this backdrop, the arrival of the present CEO, Marissa Mayer, in 2012 was hailed as that of a Messiah.

At that time, not only did media become obsessed with her impressive CV, but also the photogenic look of the blonde too, while occasionally making reference to her toned physique, when they had nothing else left to write about.

Unfortunately, judging by her performance, she has been a square peg in the round hole: bloated acquisitions, missing out on social media – remember Yahoo Messenger – e-commerce and of course, the stampede of talented executives to get out, finally took its toll on the company on her watch, which ultimately saw the end of Yahoo functioning as an independent company, when Verizon decided to take over Yahoo’s core business last year.

By the time Ms Mayer call it a day to experimenting, over $2billion of Yahoo capital had been spent, despite the brand name slowly approaching the precipice of irrelevance. Growing dissent among the shareholders, meanwhile, may have forced Ms Mayer to face the inevitable – selling its core internet business to Verizon.

Ms Mayer, a former Google vice president, landed at Yahoo with great fanfare in 2012. Tech analysts thought that she came with a silver bullet, based on her experience and technical knowledge while serving at Google. Unfortunately, she soon proved that she was no better than the army of Chief Executives who came and left in quick succession at the helm of the company. In short, Ms Mayer couldn’t grasp the enormity of the challenge before her.

Yahoo, now a mere shadow of its former self, underestimated the meteoric rise of Google in its early days on search front. Adding insult to injury, the top executives neither managed to come up with a search algorithm on their own to beat Google at its own game nor saw an avenue to shine in a different path.

When things were going from bad to worse, Yahoo started spreading in too many directions in the name of diversification in the hope of searching for luck – a failed strategy mocked as peanut butter manifesto by the seasoned analysts. That seemed to be the final nail of the coffin as far as Yahoo as an independent company was concerned.

When we look back on what happened at Yahoo on Ms Mayer’s watch, it is clear that she didn’t have a vision to turn the company around. Nor did she feel the need of one closer to her for the sake of the survival of the company. Alarmingly, she is not the only CEO with this essential ingredient missing in the technical world.

Fortunately, there are still visionary CEOs in the world, although they are few and far between, for the CEOs in Ms Mayer’s enviable position to look up to: Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Elon Musk of Tesla and Brian Chesky of Airbnb and the likes are still delivering a yeomen service to mankind while playing their corresponding roles in extending the technological progress at impressive speed.

Despite the availability of plenty of mail alternatives to Yahoo, the mail users are concerned about the fate of their mail addresses, in the event of something unthinkable takes place at Yahoo.

Unfortunately, it, a free service, is not going to be one of the priorities to be taken up by Ms Mayer in the next few months. If she dealt with the issues facing billions of its mail users, before things got worse for Yahoo at the very beginning since her arrival, of course, Ms Mayer, perhaps, could have reversed the destructive trend to some extent in her quest to bring in success to the search giant.

- Asian Tribune -

Author : Hemantha Abeywardena

Source : http://www.asiantribune.com/node/89987

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