[By Sudarshana Banerjee]
Yahoo has appointed former Paypal President Scott Thompson as CEO. Mr. Thompson has also been appointed to the company’s Board. Yahoo will also be undergoing a strategic review process, and is considering specific investments or dispositions of assets, said Roy Bostock, chairman of the Yahoo board. Tim Morse, who was acting as interim CEO of the company will resume his role as Chief Financial Officer.
The appointment seemed to have happened just yesterday. “Scott informed me Tuesday afternoon, saying that despite his passion for PayPal, this was an opportunity he felt he had to take. I know I speak for everyone in wishing Scott the best,” said John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, of which Paypal is part of, in a statement. Mr. Donahoe will serve as interim president of PayPal, with Mr. Thompson’s departure.
Roy Bostock (Chairman, Yahoo Board): Scott brings to Yahoo a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo.
His deep understanding of online businesses combined with his team building and operational capabilities will restore the energy, focus, and momentum necessary to grow the core business and deliver increased value for our shareholders.
Scott Thompson (CEO-to-be, Yahoo): With the ultimate goal of delivering the value our shareholders expect, my immediate focus will be on getting to know the entire team and hearing more from all Yahoos, working closely with the engineers and product teams, and diving deeply into our products and services to learn more about what our more than 700 million users find most engaging and useful.
I will also be working directly with our region leaders and sales teams globally to get a clearer understanding of the needs of our advertisers and publishers. Clearly, speed is important but we will attack both the opportunity ahead and the competitive challenges with an appropriate balance of urgency and thoughtfulness.
Mr. Thompson’s background is technology, and he had been chief technology officers of companies in his previous avatars. Does he have the necessary skill sets needed to turn around Yahoo? Wall Street Journal, for example, dubbed the appointment of Mr. Thompson as ‘uninspired.’ A report by Rolfe Winkler said it may be time for Yahoo shareholders to arm themselves for a proxy war, adding that the appointment suggested either Yahoo had a tough time finding a leader, or did not learn from its previous decision to hire Carol Bartz as CEO. Ms. Bartz’ tenure with Yahoo had proven to be widely unsuccessful, and she was fired by the company five months ago.
Mr. Thompson was most recently president of PayPal. He had previously served as PayPal’s senior vice president and CTO. Prior to PayPal, Mr. Thompson was executive vice president of technology solutions at Inovant, a subsidiary of Visa. Mr. Thompson was also Chief Information Officer of Barclays Global Investors, where he implemented a new strategic technology platform and global infrastructure. In addition, he had worked with Coopers and Lybrand, delivering information technology solutions to financial services clients.