Thursday, September 08, 2011

Why would you want to be CEO of Yahoo?

You know it's funny. I dial the way back machine when asked that one and run back to a point in time back in 1997 when someone said "Hey you'd make a great CEO of Apple" and I laugh. Because back then it was about getting someone else in to run the company back up to where it couldn't be stopped and that happened. The best person for the job got in formed a great team and took the company straight up and did not look back, except to fondly remember where it came from. It did so after getting to be the most valuable company on the planet. It took a while. He was the best person and NO ONE, not even me could have done that better. Am humbled by my time working with Steve Jobs. It's taught me much and prepared me for this in many ways.

I also then fast forward to 2008/2009 when we were sitting in Scottsdale and Jerry Yang was removed as CEO of Yahoo and relegated to a seat on the Board of Directors (WARNING) and also given or allowed to retain the title of "Chief Yahoo". That's a term that if I had my way about it would be removed from the company completely. It's not appropriate. Sure Yahoo has some culture and needs to be a bit renegade, but when you're fired from your position, you're NOT put on the Board and you're definitely NOT Chief Yahoo. In fact, you're not welcome on the property. HINT HINT.

Then we move forward to a little while later when the "Board" hires Carol Bartz, who turned around Autodesk. Maker of...a few software products.
Yahoo is Santa's workshop compared to that, and you need a technology/internet background for this. She did not have one. I have one that spans 30 years. She has NO background in entertainment, no background in technology directly herself, she's not a programmer, she's not worked in computers, she has no idea what techies really need to do, to feel, to thrive with, and she's put in charge of this behemoth of a company which should have been downsized and reorg'd years before, and she's off to the races slicing and dicing without really thinking about things, she makes a deal to get search off to Microsoft...at that point, you close the company. YAHOO WAS SEARCH. You close the company and you reopen as something newer and more exciting that drives investor interest through the roof and it's called...(we'll wait for the Board to put my name on the door before we share that).

Now we skip forward to this week. Ms Bartz is fired by email or text message or phone or all of the above, and someone doing this forgets to disable her email account before doing this. Way to go BOARD! She runs off and is interviewed by everyone and their brother who wants first dibs on the juicy lines and gets one 'Yahoo F--ked ME OVER" or works to that effect. They did? What did you do to the company? What did you do with Alibaba? Why did you not increase company profits or drive revenues or increase user population as you said you would for that amazing salary they were giving you? HOLY SMOKES! She made $42 million in perks including items related to compensating her post employment medical coverage??? Put her on the current plan and pay for that. If she costs that much to run, get a new MODEL.
GOD BLESS THE MONEY!!! and her for being able to get it. Am never going to fault the rich for getting rich. It's bad karma. I will however state that in order for that karma to continue to be good, being of SERVICE and serving the greater good is imperative. That's where she did wrong. That's part of why she's out and that's why the wheels are spinning in Sunnyvale once again.

The wheels are spinning again "Who can we hire now?", "Who will replace her?", "Who can we get that will screw things up more so we can devalue this company even more?".

The current board will do very well to accept my offer to become CEO of Yahoo for (yes you'll read this right), $200,000 a year (plus standard benefits), with an immediate $100,000.00 signing incentive, and we'll hold off on any bonus discussions until after the company is profitable. Right now, you can take away the $10 million in bonuses for Ms Bartz based on her disparaging remarks about the company and throw that into a CD with my name on it. Conditional release of it to me once the company is profitable for 4 quarters or to be left and taken as part of severance after creating a stable company and finding a replacement.
My contract 2 years. My severance if not profitable - $200,000.00. If profitable and a suitable replacement is found to take the helm, The CD + interest, plus 5 million shares of stock (fully vested) at the price at the time of my transition. If no one is found, then I'll stay on and we can discuss things at that time.

Conditions of my coming in: the above mentioned salary and benefits, plus the following:

A. I will be named both CEO & Chairman of Yahoo, Inc.
B. Jerry Yang and David Filo will tender immediate resignations. They're welcome to stay on board for 24 hours for a debrief which will be recorded.
C. All Members of the Current Board will tender their seats, to be filled within 30 days by new directors appointed by myself and a majority of share holding investors
D. Shareholders meeting scheduled within 45 days to confirm all board members, directors, CEO, CFO and other executives.
E. All current investment deals put on hold for 30 days to evaluate, meet involved parties, and discuss benefits to Yahoo, Inc.
F...let's leave this here for now. More to come once the Board puts my name on the Door. (HINT HINT).

Now THAT's Transparency!
All the other so called "Candidates" want to get back at Rupert, want to flub their dub waiting to see how low they can drive the stock price. I have a vision for Yahoo and those that know me will understand when I say that "I've already seen and experienced what Yahoo will be". I can tell you it's destined to be a very large part of what's happening in technology now and for some time to come with me running it. With anyone else, it will become dust shortly.

You want my background - Got into computers in 1975/76, have loved technology all my life. Worked in computer stores as a sales person, worked in tech support, worked as a consultant, have overseen multi-million dollar computer server installations, have written programs, have modified existing programs, have tested software, broken software, found faults in Operating Systems and help resolve major computer crash problems at financial institutions. I have been in the trenches busting my ass for the good of those companies out there in tech land. I've also had the amazing opportunity of a lifetime to be on the Team at PIXAR that made TOY STORY. I've had the immense honor of working with and spending time with Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and many other technology luminaries. I've learned some amazing things in business over the past 8 years because of my now wonderful wife, and it just gets better from there.

The plan - That's between ME, MY TEAM, and the NEW BOARD when they're appointed. For now let's just say it does not involve divesting into multiple companies. It does involve changes. It involves tightening, and it involves slicing the current line of products and services substantially. More later. Oh and so you know there is MUCH MORE and it's ALL good.

The timeframe - 2 years TOPS. More like 12 months once everyone is in place. For those employees worried about flow of information, no problem there. We'll start a countdown to profitable clock screen, we'll put it on every desktop and we'll make sure we're profitable long before it reaches zero. When we are, we'll share something amazing with you. Along the way we'll share progress with you. We'll take input from you. We'll institute an equal exchange of energy program. More on that when the Board puts my name on the door.

Turning things around in Sunnyvale are MORE THAN POSSIBLE. As I see them, they've already happened. All it takes to bring it to this reality is: a phone call from the board, a check from Yahoo as mentioned above for signing on (you can send that along via courier to The UPS Store at 5points plaza in 92648, they know how to reach me. And I'll be in Sunnyvale on Tuesday and we can get started. I take Monday's off. Get used to it.

See, when it comes to things like this, I've been thinking about them for years. Passionate? YES. Driven? YES. Excited? YES. Ready? Oh YOU BETCHA!

In closing this rather long note, none of this is a joke. Those who know me will say "That's OUR Michael". Others will say "I can't f-ing believe he's doing it again". Still others will say "That takes Balls!"

You're all right. But I am here, I am ready, and Yahoo...you truly can use an infusion of excitement. I promise you it will be nothing short of that and EVERYONE in the company will benefit in the long run. Investors...sorry for your losses, but the board had this chance in 2008/9. Now it's time to make things right.

Someone notable in tech lore once gave me a great piece of advice: "Mike, never turn down the opportunity to do live tv". Thanks Bob! This time...I'm more than ready.

Best regards,

Michael Murdock, CEO
DocMurdock.com

p.s. The question in the subject line was asked by my wonderful wife. Honey, there's your answer. Love you. Thanks for your support.

Posted via email from DocMurdock - Technology Tidbits

Friday, September 02, 2011

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Posted via email from DocMurdock - Technology Tidbits