Yahoo Under Terry Semel: Towards a New Revenue Model

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA092
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : Yahoo Inc.
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Global
Industry : Computer, Internet, Information Technology

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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We believe the key to Yahoo's long-term growth continues to be building and improving products and services essential to our customers' lives. Our focus on expanding the world's largest and most diverse online marketing platform and improving the best user experience on the web is expected to be the catalyst for the future success of Yahoo.1

- Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO, Yahoo


In 2003, Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo) was the largest Internet portal in the world, with 25 international sites in 13 languages and 238 million users. The portal carried news, financial information, and streaming media sources. It also offered personalized web pages, email, chat rooms, message boards, and Internet access (through a deal with SBC Communications).

After losing its way in the early 2000s, Yahoo seemed to be on its way back to profitability in early 2003. Yahoo had posted a $93 million loss on revenues of $717 million in 2001. In 2002, Yahoo earned $43 million on revenues of $953 million.

The company had made crucial acquisitions and partnerships to strengthen its competitive position. But Yahoo realised that with rivals like MSN and Google around, it could not rest easy.

Background Note

In 1994, David Filo (Filo) and Jerry Yang (Yang), students at Stanford University, developed the Yahoo search engine and directory. The web site attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. In 1995, they incorporated the business and started selling ad space on the website. The founders hired former Motorola executive Timothy Koogle (Koogle) as President and Jeffrey Mallett (Mallett), founder of Novell's WordPerfect consumer division, as Chief Operating Officer (COO)...

Excerpts >>

1] Yahoo Press Release, 14th January 2004.


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