Yahoo surprised the world by announcing that they have hired Google executive – and Google CEO Larry Page’s ex – Marissa Mayer, making her Yahoo’s 5th CEO in as many years. This move puts Mayer, 37, among the tech business female elite, with the likes of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this move is Mayer’s young age and lack of experience for such a big undertaking.
There was talk over the last week or so that Yahoo had been hacked, but what wasn’t mentioned during this period of speculation was that the potential hacking not only affected Yahoo users, but also users of Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, MSN, Comcast, Verizon, SBC Global, Live.com, and BellSouth. Today, Yahoo confirmed that it has in fact been hacked, indicating that a file with over 400,000 usernames and passwords – taken from various accounts, not just Yahoo accounts – was compromised by a group of hackers known as D33D Company and posted online. The data has since been taken offline.
Yahoo’s newest CEO, Scott Thompson, announced today the laying off of 2000 employees. According to Thompson, the layoffs will save Yahoo $375 million a year. Hrmmm, we think we see part of the reason that Yahoo is losing so much money.
Microsoft Hotmail, the world’s largest email provider, is better at blocking spam than Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail, according to a study released by the independent research firm Cascade Insights. The study only tested these companies – the so-called big three email providers – and was sponsored by Microsoft, which funded the research to combat their bad reputation for allowing loads of spam into users’ inboxes.
Two of the original big 4 ISPs (AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and Earthlink) have now gone up for sale in as many weeks. First, last week, we told you about AOL being for sale. Now, this week, the Yahoo Board of Directors has summarily fired Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz, and have made clear that they would accept the right offer for the sale of Yahoo.
Once considered two of the top ISPs, AOL and Yahoo have both been somewhat stagnant for years. While Yahoo’s new CEO, Carol Bartz, has managed to stabalize Yahoo’s profits by cutting costs, they are far from out of the woods. Despite AOL’s market value – at just $2.7 billion – being only 13 percent of Yahoo’s, AOL is said to be exploring various arrangements that could see it buying Yahoo or, at least, merging with Yahoo.
If you are finding that Yahoo Groups is down, don’t panic. Yahoo Groups has a planned outage scheduled for Thursday, April 1st. While it is April Fools day, the notice actually went out on Wednesday, March 31st.
Google, Apple and Yahoo (as well as Oracle and Applied Materials) this week prevailed against a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request that was seeking to require them to share their workforce data as it relates to race and gender. Under the Freedom of Information Act request, the San Jose Mercury News newspaper wanted to know what percentage of Apple’s, Google’s, and Yahoo’s workforce was African American, what percentage was Hispanic, Asian, caucasion, etc., and what percentage were women. Apple, Google and Yahoo, and Oracle and Applied Materials, claimed that these details were trade secrets, and that their businesses would be negatively impacted if they were forced to reveal this information.
Geocities is shutting down. Love it or hate it – use it or villify it for all the spammers that at various times infested it – when Geocities closes its doors, it will mark the passing of a long-time resident of the Internet web scene.
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have all signed on to the Global Initiative Network, pledging to protect the privacy of their users around the world, including – perhaps particularly – users in countries such as China, where demands that ISPs rat out their users are routinely made.
Over the weekend, Yahoo quietly “upgraded” their profile system, resulting, intentionally, in a great deal of user data – specifically profile and alias data – being removed.
In a move that can only be described as, at best, disingenuous, Microsoft testified this week before the U.S. Congress that if Yahoo were allowed to partner with Google in a search advertising deal, it would, they implied, be an illegal monopoly. Oh, right, but if Microsoft buys Yahoo for the very same reason, that’s ok??
You can say one thing for Carl Ichan – he doesn’t give up. Icahn, currently embroiled in his own takeover bid for Yahoo’s board, is also fomenting Microsoft’s efforts to acquire Yahoo – or at least part of Yahoo – again.