Tech journalist Kara Swisher of AllThingsD analyzed the Yahoo! situation on KQED TV’s “This Week in Northern California” last Friday.

“What happened to Yahoo? When did it go off the tracks?” host Belva Davis asks, referring to the 2,000 jobs the company is cutting in response to declining revenue and the relentless ascension of marquee competitors Google and Facebook.

“They’ve made so many mistakes, it’s hard to know where to begin,” Swisher says. “It’s been a series of strategic misfires by the company’s leadership, and it’s always a different leader, which is interesting…They’ve had a series of leaders who’ve gone one direction and jerked away in another direction. It’s problematic for a business not to know itself. One of the big jokes in the Valley about Yahoo! is the executives can’t answer the question ‘What is Yahoo?’…

Swisher said the Yahoo! board has been “the most (incompetent) in Internet history, though the AOL board certainly could compete in that regard…I think the board is exactly the problem.”

On the plus side, Swisher said Yahoo! has “a great media distribution. Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Fantasy Sports is one of the most popular, Yahoo! Mail, they have a lot of products that are very successful, and they can move in certain ways…It also has a great brand worldwide. It’s a very popular brand, a great brand. Regular consumers don’t think about the board mess and the management mess.. It certainly has a chance. It’s very profitable at this point, it’s just not growing, and technology companies have to grow.”


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor for KQED's daily health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED News Fix.

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