His decision-making came under scrutiny again in early 2009 when he and the rest of the board hired Carol Bartz as CEO in early 2009. Although she was well respected for per previous success in computer software, Bartz had no previous experience in online content or advertising _ the keys to Yahoo’s business.
The no-nonsense Bartz helped sharpen Yahoo’s focus by cutting costs, but couldn’t revive revenue growth. Bostock fired her last September, prompting Bartz to lambaste him and the rest of Yahoo’s board as “doofuses.”
Yahoo’s financial struggles are becoming even more glaring now that Facebook, the owner of the Internet’s largest social network, has opened its books in preparation for an initial public offering of stock later this year. Facebook’s IPO documents revealed its revenue surged 88 percent to $3.7 billion in 2011 while Yahoo’s declined by more than 20 percent to just under $5 billion. If that trend continues, Facebook’s revenue will surpass Yahoo’s this year.
Yahoo is trying to generate some cash that could be used for acquisitions or shareholder dividends by selling its stakes in China’s Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan. The proposed deal requires clearing some tax hurdles and addressing other issues that Bostock indicated could take a long time to resolve. The negotiations already have been going on since last fall.
“The complexity and unique nature of these transactions is significant,” Bostock wrote Tuesday. “While we continue to devote significant resources to these discussions, we are not in a position at this time to provide further detail or to provide assurance that any transaction will be achieved.”