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Yahoo needs to be 'fast, fast,fast' says new boss as income drops


By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 25, 2012 | 3 min read

The new boss of Yahoo, Chief Executive Scott Thompson, said the company's top priority was to revive the display advertising business. He promised fast action, "When it comes to making decisions, I make them quickly and then push to move fast, fast, fast," he said.

Thompson: speed needed

Thompson took over earlier this month and reviewing Yahoo's quarterly earnings report - showing sales and profits down again - he said according to the Wall Street Journal,"There's no question that we need to do better."

Yahoo fired former CEO Carol Bartz in September and last week co-founder Jerry Yang resigned suddenly. Analysts quizzed Thompson on his plans but he confined himself to the "do better" remark and getting " innovative products that matter into the market."

Nonetheless Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan said the former PayPal President "seemed to be speaking with a greater sense of urgency to act than his predecessors ."

On a possible deal involving Yahoo's Asian partners - Alibaba and Softbank - Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse said talks about a restructuring were continuing .

Thompson, hired as CEO two weeks ago, said the board had narrowed down its options to the ones that appeared "most promising."

"We will get speed back into the equation and move aggressively. To me that's how we get to playing offence rather than defence."

Yahoo was both a media company and a technology company, said Thompson. "We better be darn good at both."

Yahoo's display advertising business , with increasing competition from Google and Facebook, was down in the fourth quarter. Yahoo reported net revenue of roughly $1.17 billion, compared with $1.205 billion at this point last year.

Brett Harris, an analyst at Gabelli & Company, told the WSJ that Yahoo's core display business was becoming an issue. "It takes the company from being a growth company to being a melting ice cube. So it's a big deal," he said.

Yahoo will use data about the company's roughly 700 million users to provide better products for Websurfers and better services for advertisers, Thompson said.

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