We promise: Later today, we're going to get back on the horse, look to the future, and solicit your help in getting this once-great company cranking again. But right now, as we recall last night's dreary conference call--during which Jerry sounded out of touch, even the normally rock-solid Sue Decker sounded beaten, and we felt the last vestiges of hope trickle away--we feel compelled to wallow in the slow-motion train wreck of the past decade.
1995-1997: Yahoo on top of the world: Triple-digit revenue and profit growth, dominant global brand, a vast lead in the most value Internet business...search.
1998-2000: Awesome growth and financial performance on the strength of that core search business rockets the company to a $100 billion + market cap. Alas, in these years, the seeds of doom: A colossal strategic error, as Yahoo decides to de-emphasize search in favor of becoming a "media company." Door opens for a tiny start-up called Google.
2001-2003: Bust--and then, thankfully, recovery. Alas, in the hands of Hollywood veteran Terry Semel, the company lurches even more aggressively down the entertainment-and-media company path. Google storms up the search charts and soon discovers the best advertising business in the history of man: PPC.
2004-2005: Beginning to realize its mistake, a startled Yahoo finally re-emphasizes search--only to soon find itself in distant second place. Never mind, says Terry--we have the better model! In Q4 2005, Yahoo hits its post-recovery peak, with all businesses firing on most cylinders.
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