Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Morning Brief: Carol Bartz out at Yahoo! CFO Timothy Morse named interim CEO by board of directors; WSJ claims Groupon is having second thoughts about IPO

Last night the Internet was a twitter with the news that Carol Bartz had
been fired by the Yahoo! board of directors. As I don't follow new media companies as closely as old media companies attempting to do new media,
the news was a bit of a surprise to me.

So who is Timothy R. Morse, the guy who is now interim chief executive?

Yahoo! News Center:
Prior to joining Yahoo!, Morse was the CFO of Altera Corporation, a semiconductor company specializing in programmable logic devices for communications, industrial, and consumer applications, where he established scalable, cost-effective processes and controls. Morse previously served as the CFO and general manager of business development for General Electric Plastics. A 15-year veteran of GE, Morse also held a variety of positions at GE Plastics, GE Appliances and GE Capital in North America, Europe and Asia.

Morse holds a bachelor's degree in finance and operations and strategic management from the Boston College Carroll School of Management.
Yes, there will be a search for a new CEO, get your resumes updated.

9to5Mac: Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz canned, sends farewell via iPad

Mike Elgan Google+ post: Bartz is fired over the phone. She announces via iPad. Finally Yahoo seems to understand mobile.

More piling on, this one from How Bartz Didn’t Help Yahoo Mobile
Meanwhile, in mobile advertising, where the company should have been singing, it’s been way out of tune. Stats from IDC show that Yahoo has been losing market share in mobile advertising, even as the market has been booming. Efforts to launch new display ad formats and more localized content may have given a boost to its ad business but the benefits would have only been seen on its own properties, rather than the long tail of wider internet content.

So is Groupon reconsidering going public now? The WSJ sure thinks so.

There are lots of reasons an IPO from Groupon might not be a good idea. First, of course, there is the economy and the fact that the market has been sliding pretty badly. But investors don't know where to put their money right now with interest rates low, many foreign nations in deep trouble. etc.
Recent stock-market gyrations are scaring off some high-profile IPOs. A handful of Web companies have been at the center of an investor frenzy this year, fueled by the splashy debuts of companies such as professional networking site LinkedIn Corp. and real-estate site Zillow Inc.
But I have to think this is all about Groupon.
Groupon, in particular, has grappled with a series of missteps. When the company filed to go public in early June, it attracted criticism for its high marketing costs and unprofitable business. The company was also asked by the Securities and Exchange Commission to remove an unusual accounting metric, dubbed Adjusted Consolidated Segment Operating Income, which painted a more robust picture of its performance.

Last week, the SEC also contacted a Groupon attorney over a different matter, said a person familiar with the situation: a leaked internal memo from Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason to his staff, in which he touted the company and blasted its critics. Making public statements about the financial status of a company during an IPO process is prohibited by SEC rules.