Jim Armitage: A new Dawn for Yahoo, so now it must wake up
Outlook Here's a question for Dawn Airey, the former Channel 5 boss who's just accepted the job of European boss at Yahoo. My internet-savvy 10-year-old has never heard of your new employer: what are you going to do about it?
I would not usually drag my daughter into this column, but she and her friends represent the biggest challenge to this once-great internet brand: how to make it relevant to the next online generation.
With AOL, MySpace and arguably Microsoft, Yahoo is the epitome of the first wave of internet giants entirely eclipsed by newcomers: Google in the world of search, Facebook and Twitter in social media and YouTube in video. It is a dinosaur whose bones will be excavated by MBA lecturers and held up in lessons on the theme of "innovate or die".
Marissa Mayer's arrival from Google as chief executive last year has done a lot to stem falling morale. Enders Analysis' Ian Maude, says Yahoo staff are more motivated, upbeat and aggressive than they have been for years. And when was the last time a Yahoo senior executive got a spread in Vogue, as Ms Mayer did this month?
But, Vogue aside, it's hard to see how the Mayer-Airey axis can make Yahoo relevant and sexy again. Yes, Ms Mayer has accelerated the launch of apps (Yahoo Weather is really very good – check it before making your bank holiday plans). And she has rightly pushed hard into mobile, a one-way street for internet traffic growth.
But, with so many hipper businesses to join in Silicon Valley and other global tech hubs, Yahoo will struggle to hire the best programmers and engineers to create the next internet success. So the only way it will be able to create such new tech is by overpaying for acquisitions, as with the $1bn takeover of Tumblr in May.
Meanwhile, display advertising revenues continue to shrink. Ms Airey will surely employ her enviable contacts book to bring advertisers over from TV to Yahoo's video offerings. But they will ask her, just as my daughter asked me: "What is Yahoo for?"
I'm afraid there is still no real answer to that.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly disease himself
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly disease himself
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Banking, Financial Reporting, ...
£375 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...