Who to blame for the Yahoo debacle?

Who to blame for the Yahoo debacle - Sunil Jagani Blog

A once iconic search engine and web portal, Yahoo finds itself at that position of a race that cannot be called last even. As Verizon closes its deal on Yahoo and lays out its plans with the sinking brand, everyone is asking the same question – who is to blame for the debacle?

While a majority of fingers point towards its former CEO Marissa Mayer, we can say that it’s complicated.

The journey of this internet juggernaut from riches to rags serves as a case study for companies around the world today. From being a brand that set the pace of search and Internet exploration to failing against competition, there is a list of reasons behinds Yahoo’s failure and not just bad governance.

Competing with a thriving Google

For a company of this size, there was never any unprecedented step taken. And to top that was the huge competition from Google. Google started gaining pace and entered the life of its users by every possible way it can. The idea of Drive, super-fast Chrome browser, etc., were released just in the nick of time. Had there been a similar type of developed at Yahoo, the focus of media should have shifted towards them as well.

Failed turnarounds before Marissa

When Jerry Yang, the site’s co-founder stepped down in 2012, it was an unexpected move that surprised all members of the board. Clearly there were failed turnarounds before, which Jerry presumed irrevocable. Marissa took over from where Jerry left, but the damage was done.

A chain reaction of failures

Misadventures proliferated since Jerry left.The hacking – in 2014 – was the next massive blow to the company. Popular newspapers described as, “the biggest data breach of all time”. There was also rumors about Yahoo database being sold at least three times. That is not how the profile of a billion-dollar company should look like.

“A CEO is not the only person who runs a company, but her/his role is equally eminent!”

In fairness, Mayer can be referred to as the “unfortunate child of destiny” who although had the talent and expertise, failed to shake things up at Yahoo.

So, who to blame for the debacle? I leave that for all of you to decide.


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