The choice of Scott Thompson is another roll of the dice by the Yahoo Board, which hasn’t been winning a lot at the craps table lately. But to be fair to Pay Pal’s extremely successful boss Scott Thompson, everyone deserves a chance to rise to the occasion,
The problem is that Yahoos board continues to see the company in their image as a technology company when it clearly has to become a media company to succeed. The last CEO was also hired for her tech creds, though shortly after arriving she admitted that her own assessment was that the company had to become a media content company. She just didn’t know how to do that.
Hopefully, Thompson will be a quick study and will learn what it takes to become a content creator. But it is a big bet, and the choice reflects a board that is still unable to see the future clearly enough to make the changes necessary. They hired one of their own, leaving the task of deciding the company’s future in the CEO with little or no help from the board.
It can be done. But it’s not easy.
A clear message that the board understood the direction the company had to take would have been to appoint a true media executive. I’m thankful that Thompson has deep consumer experience. But it remains to be seen whether or not he has the vision to become a great media executive.