Yahoo Fires Bartz: Numbers Speak Volumes


iconsYahoo finally confirmed rumors late Tuesday that the board of directors has fired CEO Carol Bartz. Timothy Morse stepped in as interim CEO, effective immediately. The Board has also named senior Yahoo executives to a newly formed executive role tasked to support Morse in managing the company’s daily operations until a permanent chief executive is appointed, as well as supporting a strategic review that the Board has initiated to position the company for future growth.

It’s been a rough few years for Bartz and Yahoo. The Sunnyvale, Calif. company continues to die a slow death. U.S. advertisers will spend 20.2% more this year — reaching $31.3 billion, up from $26 billion in 2010, according to eMarketer estimates — but Yahoo market share could decline as much as 11% this year, down from 13.3% in 2010.

Research firm eMarketer shared some interesting numbers. Google’s share is expected to reach 40.8% this year — up from 38.5% in 2010 and 34.9% in 2009 — while Facebook’s share of the overall U.S. online ad market share will reach 7% in 2011, up from 4.6% in 2010.

When it comes to U.S. display advertising, eMarketer expects Yahoo’s share to fall to 13.1% in 2011, down from 14.4% in 2010. The overall U.S. display ad market, however, is set to grow 24.5% to $12.33 billion in 2011, up from $9.91 billion in 2010 — higher growth than Yahoo’s display business has seen in previous quarters this year.

As Yahoo’s shares decline, competitors such as Facebook continue to rise. Facebook’s share of U.S. online display ad revenue will reach 17.7% in 2011, up from a 12.2% market share last year. U.S. display ad revenue at Google will top $1 billion for the first time in 2011, as the company’s share of overall display revenue grows to 9.3% from an 8.6% share in 2010, according to eMarketer.

Yahoo also faces the prospect of seeing its search revenue surpassed by Microsoft for the first time in 2011, according to eMarketer estimates. Net U.S. search ad revenue at Yahoo could dip to 7.9% market share of the $14.4 billion U.S. search advertising market in 2011, down from a 10.7% in 2010. eMarketer estimates Google’s share of overall US search revenues will grow to 75.9% this year, up from a 73.6% share in 2010 and a 69.8% share in 2009.

No word on Bartz’s compensation package. Nor is it clear whether the shakeup will affect the Microsoft and Yahoo search alliance. Marketers and advertisers will have to wait it out.

Bartz previously held the position of CEO and chairman at Autodesk, a supplier of computer design tools. She also held positions at Sun Microsystems and Cisco Systems.

(c) 2011 MediaPost Communications Yahoo Fires Bartz: Numbers Speak Volumes by Laurie Sullivan originally appeared in Online Media Daily on September 7, 2011.

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