The Women at Yahoo!

picture-211Prior to the appointment of Carol Bartz as the new Yahoo! CEO I was thinking about the fact that Yahoo! had more visible women in leadership roles than its chief rivals: Google, Microsoft, IAC, AOL, News Corp. Facebook has former Google exec. Sheryl Sandberg in the COO role now. 

But with the appointment of Bartz and Hilary Schneider in charge of North America, new CMO Elisa Steele, SVP  Joanne Bradford, Yahoo! is filled with women at the top. The new CFO could also turn out to be a woman. Wait and see. 

So what does this mean? Maybe nothing. But it may also be significant.

These women are very smart and their (presumably) greater facility with and understanding of relationships (employee, customer, etc.) may turn out to be significant if only behind the scenes. Witness Bartz’s new attention to customer service/advocacy. That may have nothing to do with her being a woman but I’m not so sure. 

There’s also the user-audience. From a commerce perspective, women (and moms in particular) are the most important audience online. I don’t imagine that Yahoo! will alienate boys and men. But it may be able (whether consciously or not) to appeal to women even more than it does today. 

These thoughts are rough and vague I realize. But I was just struck by all the women running Yahoo! and how it might turn out to make Yahoo! different and successful in ways that the company hadn’t even anticipated in its “gender-blind” recruitment and promotion of executives.

One Response to “The Women at Yahoo!”

  1. Will Scott Says:

    This is totally anecdotal, but I’ve always heard that Yahoo skewed female from a search perspective.

    The supposition was that it was the shopping / entertainment bias vs. the sterile one-box.


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