Jerry Yang, the founder and current CEO of Yahoo, spoke about the obstacles facing his company during a "fireside chat" at a conference held by Right Media Exchange, an online-ad startup Yahoo recently acquired. Yang concedes the many difficulties facing the Internet company, but with antiseptic corporatespeak that puts a chill on what should have been an intimate and revealing "chat." Fortunately, his comments are so transparent, it's easy to see their true meaning. Choice quotes with honest translations after the jump.
It is a lonely job in the sense that you have to make some of the tough calls.
All the blame will be on me now, and that's scary.
It feels like I've been in training for the past 13 years.
And unfortunately for my shareholdrers and employees, I still feel like I'm in training.
I feel some urgency for what Yahoo has to do and we have some challenges ... It feels like forever but it's also gone by very fast.
I wish I had never made that offhand comment about one hundred days, because Kara Swisher is never, ever going to let it go.
When things are going great you want to feel like you belong to something, and when things are not going great the (company) identity can help you get through it.
The only thing keeping the staff going is lots of purple and lots of exclamation points.
We're in that transformation again where there's a change in the way advertising is sold... We are embracing the change.
We missed the online advertising transformation and need to catch up. Can I have a hug?
I don't think Yahoo can be Facebook tomorrow; I don't think we want to be Facebook
We wanted to be Facebook but missed our chance. Stop bringing it up. We can no longer afford Facebook. Toby Coppel has dropped the ball again, okay?
There hasn't been a lot of innovation around display relevancy.
For all those years we dominated the banner-ad business, we did exactly nothing new.
I'm in the position of pinching myself everyday to say I started the company, but we lucked into creating the Yahoo name. Today I'm still not sure why we added the exclamation point
Yahoo branding is silly, but it's all we've got.
On the Yahoo brand:
We have a lot of work to do there.
Honestly, we're getting tired of purple and exclamation points, and I'm sure everyone else is too.
Oh, and Yang's conspicuous failure to mention the exit of chief marketing officer Cammie Dunaway?
We had to fire her traitorous ass.