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商业 - 科技

马云成雅虎CEO热门候选人

Dan Mitchell 2011年09月09日

风雨飘摇的雅虎公司最终命运如何?现在看来依然扑朔迷离。不过,有几位高管或许将有机会成为雅虎新任领导人,其中包括阿里巴巴集团CEO马云。

    雅虎董事会也可能进行内部提拔,即便这样也存在风险。辞退巴茨之后,雅虎董事会任命首席财务官蒂姆•莫尔斯暂代CEO一职。但他被扶正的机会微乎其微,因为当初正是巴茨将他招入雅虎。而且,尽管他是公认的成本削减高手,但雅虎利润的下滑与他也有莫大的干系。卡拉•斯维什尔在科技博客AllThingsD撰文称,莫尔斯周三出席雅虎“全体员工大会”时,他的前景便已初露端倪。很明显,他只能作为公司创始人及前任CEO杨致远的配角。(杨致远曾坚决表示,雅虎是“非卖品”,但鉴于雅虎目前的困境,谁还会相信他的话呢?)

    可能性更大的内部候选人是雅虎美洲区执行副总裁罗斯•莱文索恩。他主管雅虎日益衰落的展示广告业务,以及热门新闻、体育和财经资产,这些都属于雅虎最重要的业务。一年前,莱文索恩从专注数字媒体的投资基金Fuse Capital投奔雅虎。在新闻集团担任高管时,他主持了公司对MySpace的收购,这笔交易后来成了他履历上的一大败笔。

    另外一位强势候选人是新闻集团首席数字官乔纳森•米勒。他曾在美国在线担任CEO长达四年之久,直至2006年才离任。今年早些时候,米勒成功为新闻集团甩掉了MySpace这个包袱,为自己赢得了声誉。雅虎曾考虑聘用他为公司CEO,但因受制于美国在线前东家时代华纳集团(Time Warner)的非竞争条款,最终未能如愿。考虑到新闻集团目前的状况,或许八月份才是乔纳森•米勒投奔雅虎最佳时机。

    而另外一位候选人——美国在线CEO蒂姆•阿姆斯特朗目前更是焦头烂额,无暇旁顾。美国在线目前困难重重,蒂姆•阿姆斯特朗不仅要整合公司七零八落的业务,还因为在迈克尔•阿灵顿和著名科技博客TechCrunch一事上搞得一团糟而面临指责。但如果雅虎与美国在线能够在某些方面达成合作,或许阿姆斯特朗将有可能执掌雅虎。

    无论如何,雅虎都将经历一场剧变,但没人知道它将走向何方。或许它将被收购,或出售主要业务——比如其亚洲业务,包括阿里巴巴和雅虎日本(Yahoo Japan)——并将所得现金用于其他收购。多年以来,人们一直在问:“雅虎到底是家什么性质公司?”或许,这个问题需要留待新任领导人给出一个唯一的、具体的、可信的答案。

    翻译:刘进龙/乔树静

    Yahoo's board could decide to promote from within, though not without risk. In firing Bartz, the board named CFO Tim Morse as interim chief. It seems unlikely he'll be installed permanently since he was hired by Bartz and, though he's well-regarded as a cost-cutter, is also associated with Yahoo's revenue slide. A clue to his prospects might be found in Kara Swisher's description at AllThingsD of Morse's presence at Yahoo's "all-hands" meeting on Wednesday, where he was apparently nothing more than a supporting player to company co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang. (Yang insisted that Yahoo is "not for sale," but there's little reason to believe him given the company's distress.)

    A more likely internal candidate is Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo's executive vice president for the Americas. He's in charge of Yahoo's faltering display-ad business and its popular news, sports and finance properties -- in other words, Yahoo's most important businesses. Levinsohn came to Yahoo a year ago from Fuse Capital, an investment fund focused on digital media. As a News Corp. executive, he was in charge of that company's acquisition of MySpace, which went on to become a spectacular failure.

    A strong candidate is Jonathan Miller, News Corp.'s chief digital officer. He was CEO of AOL for four years until 2006. Miller won a gold star when he unloaded MySpace from News Corp. earlier this year. He was once a considered for the top Yahoo job, but was blocked by Time Warner, former owner of AOL, because of a noncompete clause. Given all the situation at News Corp., the timing perhaps could be august.

    The timing probably couldn't be worse for another potential candidate, though: Tim Armstrong, CEO of the beleaguered AOL (AOL). Not only is he struggling to make the disparate parts of his company work together, he's also facing heavy criticism for his handling of the mess surrounding Michael Arrington and TechCrunch. Still, if Yahoo and AOL were to partner in some way, Armstrong could come out on top.

    Yahoo has to endure some major changes no matter what, but nobody seems to know what they should be. It could be acquired, or it could sell off major chunks of itself -- perhaps its Asian businesses including Alibaba and Yahoo Japan -- and use the cash to make acquisitions of its own. For years, people have been asking: "What is Yahoo?" Any new leader has to be able to answer that question in a single, concrete, believable phrase.

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