Yahoo’s trials and tribulations since 2008 (timeline)

After 30 months as Yahoo’s CEO, Carol Bartz has been ousted from the company. Her interim replacement is former Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse, who joined the company in 2009.

Bartz’s appointment as Yahoo CEO was meant to help turn the company around, a task she took on by reorganizing and whittling away under performing products and services. Nonetheless, the company has struggled to produce major new Web properties or regain lost ground on its stock price.

But even before Bartz got there, it’s been a rough ride for the Web pioneer. Let’s take a look at some of the ups and downs for the company since the original deal from Microsoft in 2008.


January 29, 2008:Yahoo announces a layoff of about 1,000 employeeswhile reporting fourth-quarter earnings. “We’re making good progress executing on this strategy, and I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction,” then CEO Jerry Yang says. “This sort of transformation takes time, but we have the talent and the strong cash flow to succeed.”

February 1, 2008: Microsoft publicly announces its $44.6 billion cash-and-stock offer to acquire Yahoo. “Microsoft’s consistent belief has been that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo clearly represents the best way to deliver maximum value to our respective shareholders, as well as create a more efficient and competitive company that would provide greater value and service to our customers,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says in a letter to Yang and Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock. Yahoo’s stock surges from a close of $19.18 the day before the offer was made public to close at $28.38.

February 4, 2008: Yahoo axes its music service to coincide with a deal made with Rhapsody.

February 11, 2008: Yahoo rejects Microsoft’s offer, saying “Microsoft’s proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo.” The company would repeat this rationale several times in coming negotiations.

February 12, 2008: Yahoo’s layoffs begin.

February 22, 2008: Two Detroit pensioner funds file a shareholder lawsuit against Yahoo, saying it stonewalled Microsoft’s unsolicited buyout offer. The week before, the company was hit by another suit over the rejection.

April 5, 2008: Microsoft sets an ultimatum for a Yahoo response, threatening to take the matter directly to Yahoo shareholders.

May 3, 2008: Discussions break down. Microsoft says it’s really not interested in Yahoo. “By failing to reach an agreement with us, you and your stockholders have left significant value on the table,” Ballmer says in a letter to Yang. “But clearly a deal is not to be.”

May 18, 2008: Microsoft talks with Yahoo restart–for a narrower slice of the company.

June 12, 2008: Yahoo and Google announce a search-ad partnership that is expected to result in $800 million in revenue and $250 million to $450 million in new operating cash flow during the first year of the deal. Meanwhile, Jeff Weiner, executive vice president of Yahoo’s Network division and seven-year Yahoo veteran, departs the company to join venture capital firms Accel Partners and Greylock Partners. Usama Fayyad, chief data officer and executive vice president of research and strategic data solutions, also announces his departure. As does Jeremy Zawodny, a programmer who helped launch the Yahoo Developer Network and worked on many other internal projects at the Internet company,and Jason Zajac, who’d at various times has been general manager of social media, head of finance for the audience division, and vice president of corporate strategy for Yahoo.

June 17, 2008: Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake, the husband-and-wife co-founders of the Flickr photo-sharing site Yahoo acquired in 2005, announce plans to leave the Internet giant.

June 19, 2008: Yahoo loses three top executives: Qi Lu, executive vice president of engineering for search and advertising technology; Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of communications and community; and Vish Makhijani, senior vice president of search. Also departing is Joshua Schachter, the founder of the Delicious social-bookmarking service Yahoo acquired in 2005.

June 26, 2008: After numerous executive departures, Yahoo announces a reorganization that centralizes some power.

July 12, 2008: Yahoo rejects a proposal to sell its search assets to Microsoft.

July 14, 2008: Carl Icahn, who owns about 5 percent of Yahoo stock and who had strongly urged a Microsoft deal, begins an effort to oust Yahoo’s board of directors and replace them with his own slate. Days later, Yahoo settles with Icahn, giving him and two others a seat on Yahoo’s board.

July 29, 2008: Investor T. Boone Pickens dumps 10 million Yahoo shares.

August 1, 2008: Yahoo shareholders gripe about the company’s performance at the company’s annual meeting. “We might not see $33 again for two years,” says Patrick Sheridan, who came from New York for the meeting. “I might have to cut my losses. I voted against the entire board.”

August 28, 2008: After only a year in business, Yahoo announces plans to shut down Mash, its social-networking experiment, the following month.

October 21, 2008: Yahoo reports a 64 percent decline in net income, lowers its financial performance forecast, warns of a softer ad market, and says the layoff will result in at least 1,430 employees losing their jobs. Despite the bad news, Yang maintains an optimistic tone that focuses on an indefinite future when the economy looks better. “While the advertising market goes through a down cycle, we believe the Internet ad market will recover, with Yahoo positioned to take share,” Yang said.

Former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang.
Former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang.Yahoo

November 5, 2008: The Justice Department’s threat of an antitrust lawsuitkills the Yahoo-Google ad deal. Yahoo expresses its dismay, but Google–growing ever more dominant and facing more scrutiny as a result–doesn’t think a big legal fight is worth it. The companies had proposed a narrower deal to the Justice Department, but to no avail, so Yahoo must bid adieu to $800 million in new revenue.

November 17, 2008: Yahoo announcesJerry Yang will step down as CEOonce a successor is found. “All of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. I will always do what I think is right for this great company. While this step will be an adjustment for all of us, I know it’s the right one,” Yang says in a memo to Yahoo employees.

December 10, 2008: Yahoobegins previously announced layoffs, most of which affect employees at Yahoo’s U.S.-based locations.


January 13, 2009: Bartz joins Yahoo as its new CEO.

April 23, 2009: Yahoo announces plans to shut down GeoCities, a company it bought for more than $2.9 billion in 1999.

February 13, 2009: Yahoo announces plans to discontinue its MyWeb servicesome four years after its acquisition of Delicious.

April 21, 2009: Following the announcement of a 78 percent profit drop during the first quarter of the year, Yahoo announces it’s cutting about 5 percent of its employees.

Bartz and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ink search and advertising deal.
Bartz and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ink search and advertising deal.Yahoo/Microsoft

May 29, 2009: Yahoo closes blog-centric social site Yahoo 360, a site that never really hit it big in the U.S., but was popular in other countries, especially Vietnam. Yahoo kept a special version of the site going there, while shuttering the others.

July 29, 2009: Yahoo and Microsoftreach a search and advertising deal that’s a far cry from the original acquisition idea, but that still has the two companies teaming up to take on Google.

August 14, 2009: Yahoo sells off 1 percent of its stake in Chinese-based business-to-business trading site

October 23, 2009: Icahn, the man who launched a shareholder insurrection following the botched Microsoft takeover bid, leaves Yahoo’s board of directors.

December 4, 2009: Yahoo and Microsoft finalize their agreement to make Microsoft the exclusive search provider for Yahoo’s network of sites for the next 10 years.


February 13, 2010: Regulatory filings reveal that Yahoo investor and former board member Icahn has been selling off massive quantities of stock, closing out 2009 with just under 12 million shares compared with the more than 60 million he held the year before.

March 31, 2010: Yahoo announces plans to close the Yahoo Publisher Network, the company’s answer to Google’s AdSense.

April 8, 2010: Yahoo chief technology officer and executive vice president of products Ari Balogh announces plans to leave the company in June.

April 29, 2010: Bryan Lamkin, the senior vice president of Yahoo’s consumer products group resigns after a year with the company.

Yahoo's SearchMonkey service is no more, a victim of the Microsoft-Yahoo search outsourcing deal.
Yahoo’s SearchMonkey, a victim of the Microsoft-Yahoo search outsourcing deal.Yahoo

August 17, 2010:Adding some sugar to the spoonful of medicine, Yahoo formally announces that it’s beginning the public phase of offering “Powered by Bing” search results on its properties, while mentioning that it would now be charging for its BOSS (build your own search service) and shuttering its Search Monkey product.

September 15, 2010: Eight-year Yahoo veteran David Ku leaves his spot as senior vice president of Yahoo’s advertising products group.

December 14, 2010: Yahoo begins layoffs of around 600 employees from its product division.

December 16, 2010: A leaked slide from a Yahoo corporate meeting unveils that Yahoo plans to get rid of a number of products including AltaVista, AllTheWeb, Bookmarks, Buzz, Picks and MyBlogLog.

December 17, 2010: Social bookmarking site Declicious, which Yahoo acquired in 2005 announces plans to find a new home away from its parent company, saying that “there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo.”


January 25, 2011: Times with its fourth-quarter earnings call, Yahoo confirms it has laid off 100 to 150 employees, or 1 percent of its global workforce.

April 27, 2011: Yahoo announces it hasoffloaded Delicious to AVOS for an undisclosed sum.

The Delicious logo.
The Delicious logo.Yahoo

May 15, 2011: News of a feud between Yahoo and Alibaba over the spinoff of Alipay cause Yahoo’s stock to fall. The two companies release a joint statement saying they’re committed to resolving the issue.

June 21, 2011: Days before the company’s shareholders meeting TechCrunch reports that Yahoo is “quietly looking” to replace Bartz, and it in the process of searching for candidates.

June 23, 2011: At the company’s shareholders meeting, a shareholder takes aim at Bartz during the meeting’s question-and-answer section, asking the company whether rumors of the company seeking a replacement are true. Chairman Roy Bostock responded by saying that the board “is very supportive of Carol and the management team.”

July 8, 2011: Hedge fund Greenlight Capital dumps its investment of 8.5 million Yahoo shares.

July 29, 2011: Alibaba, Yahoo, and Softbank announce that they’ve settled the financial squabble over Alipay, the Chinese payment processing system.

August 26, 2011: Softbank unloads most of its 4 percent stake in Yahoo to Citigroup as part of a 2004 loan, leaving the company with a 0.002 percent stake in the Web company.

September 6, 2011: Bartz is fired by Yahoo’s board. Bartz receives the news via a telephone call from Bostock, Yahoo’s chairman of the board.

Published by: c|net
Author: Josh Lowensohn and Stephen Shankland

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