As a part of its deckchair reshuffling, Yahoo created a new Cloud Computing & Data Infrastructure Group, led by newish CTO Ari Balogh. For now the group will focus on internal projects, but Balogh told News.com it could eventually offer cloud computing services for startups to compete with Amazon and Google. We recommend Yahoo do this, if only because unlike everyone else at Yahoo, its sounds as though Balogh might understand product marketing. For example, Balogh actually told News.com why Yahoo's service — which runs Hadoop and benefits from ""loosening ACID requirements" — is newer and therefore better than Google's. But Balogh didn't use the phrase "starting point" even once, so we're not optimistic about his tenure under CEO-in-waiting-but-not-very-patiently Sue Decker. (Photo by Yodel Anecdotal)
Everyone's piling on Jerry Yang, saying Yahoo's founder-CEO needs to go. Why? The weak stock that provoked Microsoft's unsolicited bid may have been the result of his absentee ownership over the years. But Yahoo's deeper problem is the rot in its technical prowess. And that has everything to do with the quieter cofounder, David Filo. Filo has stayed behind the scenes, but wields considerable power over Yahoo's infrastructure. Requests for more hardware go through him, for example. When Yahoo executive Jeff Weiner joked in an internal all-hands movie about not going through IT because it was "too much paperwork," the audience surely laughed because they knew exactly what he meant.
Check out Ari Balogh's geek makeover! In jumping from stiffly corporate VeriSign to stiffly corporate-but-trying-pretend-otherwise Yahoo, the CTO ditched the '70s mustache and switched to an open-necked sweater for a keynote at Web 2.0 Expo. The upshot: Yahoo is "rewiring" itself to be more "open." As with Balogh's sweater, those who use this openness to get a closer look may get frightened. Yahoo's software certainly requires rewiring, but putting a new layer on top of it and inviting software developers to build applications using Yahoo services won't solve the problem. As one ex-Yahoo put it to me, vast swaths of Yahoo are built on "spaghetti code," poorly maintained and poorly understood software that's prone to breakage. Opening this up to developers may lead to all kinds of surprises, but not the kind Yahoo's tech-indifferent executives hope for. (Photo by Dan Farber)
This morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made the usual polite noises about "integrating" Yahoo's management into Microsoft. The reality? Come on. They're all fired, except for the geeks. If Microsoft had any respect for current management, they would have negotiated a friendly deal instead of launching a takeover. Most of the executive suite will be gone, I bet, within six months if the takeover succeeds. Here are the details on who's in and who's out, starting at the top.
Has Ari Balogh arrived too late? That's the key question for Yahoo's new CTO, freshly hired away from VeriSign. Balogh will take charge of all of Yahoo's engineering functions, essentially leaderless since former CTO Farzad Nazem quit last May. The new blood could bring some much-needed shakeups. Presumably, current tech executives Usama Fayyad, Qi Lu, and Ash Patel will report to him. One wonders how long that situation will last. Patel, in particular, has been checked out for some time, according to sources at Yahoo, and Balogh's hire may be his cue to leave. Balogh will have another challenge: VeriSign's reputation.