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Bartz: Yahoo wants to regain R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Juan Carlos Perez | Oct. 29, 2009
Channeling Aretha Franklin, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz told investors and financial analysts on Wednesday that the company is working hard to regain the respect it has lost in the market.

"As we continue to execute and capture more user engagement and ad spend, it puts us in a great position to win disproportionately in the coming quarters," he said.

Balogh repeated what has been a company line in recent months: Yahoo views social networking as a "dimension" of online services across the board, not as a "destination."

To skeptics, this mantra could sound as Yahoo's excuse for failing to have a leading social networking site, while upstarts like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and others ran with that segment of the market in recent years.

But Yahoo is sticking with its spin. "We're still in the early stages of where social is going," Balogh said.

He also stressed the importance of mobile online services and content, and of Yahoo's homepage, whose mammoth traffic has a big impact on the traffic of Yahoo sites overall.

"Let me be really clear here, really crisp: our model is very, very simple. We have a huge audience. From that audience, we engage them with great products like Home Page, Messenger, search, mobile media, and all kinds of other media and online communications. As we engage our audiences, we gather insights about them," he said. Those insights allow Yahoo to provide better advertising services to marketers.

Bartz, Balogh and other Yahoo executives seem confident that success will not elude the company much longer. But the company's latest quarterly results don't signal that a turnaround is beginning.

Yahoo, which has been on a years-long financial and technology slump, posted revenue of US$1.58 billion in this year's third quarter, down 12 percent from the same period a year earlier, while net income rose 244 percent thanks in part to cost cutting, the company said last week.


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