Yahoo! Inc. took part in the 44th annual JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that was held last month. CFO Ken Goldman said that they have already issued the proxy for the annual meeting of shareholders, which is expected to take place later this month. Ken then went on to talk about the staff. He said that there are a number of employees who have stayed loyal to the firm and have gained a lot experience going through the ups and downs. As for mail, Ken highlighted the continued growth and innovation. He said that the mail apps are rated very well in the app stores. As per him, Gmail and Yahoo are the top 2 providers of email.
Giving a recap of how the year so far has been for the firm, Ken began by saying that Q1 was a solid quarter. He said that the firm has a total of 7 ‘product areas’ to focus on. These are search, mail, Tumblr and verticals like news, sports, finance and lifestyle. He also said that he learns a lot about what people are talking about for the sale of its core assets by reading stories in the press. Some of the ‘signaling’ stories that appear in the press amuse him about what people are thinking about the ongoing process. Without going into a lot of details, he assured that the whole process is very robust. The strategic review committee of the board is hard at work on figuring out the best way ahead. Ken said that out of all the firms whose board he has been on so far, he has never seen one working as hard as that of Yahoo. This issue is currently on top of their minds and occupies the most of the board’s time.
Yahoo Search is the Only One Having 3 Engines Powering it
Coming to search, Ken said that that is another area which is seeing a lot of investment. Over the last few years, this business has gone up by about 3x. Key challenges here lie in terms of volume. Although there is growth in certain areas, some of the benefits that the firm had earlier are lost. Hence, a lot of work needs to be done in this area. Ken said that partnerships are very important here in order to drive up volume. Coming to the more technical aspects of web searching (such as indexing), he thinks that Yahoo is the only search provider to have 3 search engines powering it. This puts the search provider in a place where they can optimize the results easily and also try to get the best advertising. The 3 search engines are Bing, Google and their own. Yahoo’s ties with Microsoft for search are no secret. As far as Google is concerned, Ken said that going forward, desktop search volume, especially from the USA, will be of great help. And in their own search engine, they are hard at work on mobile search. This is especially because a lack of sufficient distribution on mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android brings down the search volume originating from such mobile devices.
About Tumblr, Ken said that overall, the online property has taken great strides in achieving high levels of user engagement. Where a lot of work remains to be done however, is on the monetization side. He added that they are trying their best to come out with ad formats that suit that medium.