Posts Tagged ‘silicon-valley’

Yahoo Attempts to Poach AOL Ad Chief Brody to Lead U.S. Sales, Setting Up Possible Legal Battle

April 10, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In an unusual hiring for a top advertising role, Yahoo has made an offer to AOL’s top sales exec Ned Brody to take over as head of its North American sales, according to sources close to the situation. Brody has already resigned from AOL, said sources, where he headed AOL Networks — which used to be called the It hawks premium display, video and mobile network ads for the Web portal. It is not clear if he has officially taken the job at Yahoo, but it seems likely given the terms, which includes a lucrative salary. More interestingly, sources said that because Brody has a 12-month, non-compete agreement with AOL that the Silicon Valley Internet giant — as part of the deal it is close to striking with him — will pay him to not work in that period. Sources close to both companies said AOL has already informed Yahoo that it might face a legal challenge to hiring Brody, because of the way it might attempt to subvert the 12-month non-compete. Because of big Yahoo offer, AOL did not make a counter-offer to keep him. These kind of fights over ad sales execs have happened before. For example, Microsoft mulled a legal challenge of Facebook’s hiring of Carolyn Everson , for example, a tense battle that was later settled . The attractive terms offered to Brody underscore the difficulty that Yahoo has had in filling the slot, which has been open since former U.S. head Ross Levinsohn left the company a year ago. Top ad duties have been shared by Mark Ellis , VP of North American sales and global partnerships (as well as a former AOLer) and Peter Foster, who is VP of solutions development and MMD sales.

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WSJ’s Worthen Joins Sequoia as Head of Content

March 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Longtime Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Worthen is joining Sequoia Capital as head of content to work with its startups, including on improving its blogs, social media and video. The Silicon Valley venture firm confirmed the move by Worthen, who has covered tech for 13 years, most recently focused on enterprise software.

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Another Reason Google Reader Died: Increased Concern About Privacy and Compliance

March 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Google has warned that it will shut down its Google Reader news aggregator July 1. Many people (myself very much included) are mourning a beloved and useful product, but the company cited declining usage. Shutterstock/ Yuri Arcurs Under CEO Larry Page, Google has made a practice of “spring cleaning” throughout all the seasons so it can narrow its focus. Reader was just a another bullet point on the latest closure list. But the shutdown wasn’t just a matter of company culture and bigger priorities, sources said. Google is also trying to better orient itself so that it stops getting into trouble with repeated missteps around compliance issues, particularly privacy. That means every team needs to have people dedicated to dealing with these compliance and privacy issues — lawyers, policy experts, etc. Google didn’t even have a product manager or full-time engineer responsible for Reader when it was killed, so the company didn’t want to add in the additional infrastructure and staff, the sources said. But at the same time, Google Reader was too deeply integrated into Google Apps to spin it off and sell it, like the company did last year with its SketchUp 3-D modeling software . The context for this concern about compliance is Google’s repeated public failures on privacy due to lack of oversight and coordination

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"Zombie" Startups Look for Ways to Come to Life

March 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After tapping a flood of venture capital in recent years, a growing number of startups are getting caught in purgatory. These companies, which include consumer and e-commerce businesses, have just enough capital to keep going, for now. But they aren’t growing fast enough to raise more financing or secure a big “exit” through a sale or by going public. In Silicon Valley, they are often called “zombies.” Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Gets a Million-Dollar Bonus After Six Months on the Job

March 7, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

According to a regulatory filing by Yahoo, its CEO Marissa Mayer got a $1.12 million bonus, as part of a compensation package she got when she came to the Silicon Valley Internet giant. It was based on serving a half of a year. But, as has been previously reported , Mayer has an annual salary of $1 million and is eligible for a $2 million annual bonus, based on meeting certain performance goals set by its board. In addition, she has gotten numerous stock and options compensation, worth $56 million, including $14 million to make up for the loss of earnings when she left Google, where she was a top exec for many years. There are also other possible bonuses, depending on results. The million-dollar payment is probably considered pretty much a bargain by investors, since the shares of Yahoo have risen close to 50 percent since she arrived. That’s been based largely on hopes Mayer can turn the company around and on the actual stellar performance of its Alibaba Group stake in China. CFO Ken Goldman, who joined in October , was not eligible for a bonus in 2012, but was awarded a discretionary one of $100,000 nonetheless. He is also eligible for a 90 percent bonus in 2013, based on a $600,000 annual salary. Here’s Yahoo’s 8-K filing, which also includes details of Mayer’s severance agreement: SEC-YHOO-1193125-13-94121 –

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Up Is Down and Down Is Up: Yahoo Stock Waxes, While Apple Wanes

March 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

I like a good dichotomy as much as the next person, which is why I decided to compare the shares of Yahoo with that of Apple over the recent time period. That’s because in what amounts to a trading-places moment, despite their differences in focus, the pair have had almost polar opposite stock performances of late. Yahoo, of course, is the famous Internet giant that has been trying to turn itself around for a very long time; Apple is the Silicon Valley phenom that has been wowing the sector for just as much time with endless innovative products. Typically, that state of affairs has meant that Apple has enjoyed a rocket ship of a ride from Wall Street investors, while Yahoo has suffered. That’s certainly been true on a five-year basis, with Apple up 244 percent and Yahoo down 21 percent. But in the last six months, it has been another story altogether. In that time, Apple has been sliding to its lowest price since September, down 35 percent

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A Silicon Valley Campus with Chinese Characteristics

March 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Like most of China’s high-tech manufacturers Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. is located in an outsized and relatively isolated technology park. But unlike the bulk of China’s electronics manufacturers, which set up cramped dormitories and massive dining facilities to manage legions of workers who come to do basic assembly, SMIC’s campus is actually pleasant. Read the rest of this report on the original site

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What Is Yahoo This Year? A Technology Company, Some of Which It Dumps

March 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Much ado about how Yahoo is defining itself once again — for what seems like the umpteenth time since its founding back in the 1990s. It’s dumped the recent and very awkward “premier digital media company” moniker, which was bestowed upon it by ousted CEO Carol Bartz, for the geekier stylings of its latest leader, Marissa Mayer. In its recently filed 10-K regulatory filing , she’s now calling the Silicon Valley Internet company a “global technology company focused on making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining.” Presumably the change is due to the longstanding difficulty that the company had defining itself over many years or even easily answering simple question of “What is Yahoo?” Thus, people — Yahoo’s no longer a floor wax and a dessert topping! That said, some of that global technology is getting the boot, with platforms head Jay Rossiter announcing on its blog today a product dump. That includes most prominently its BlackBerry app, as well as those I (and doubtlessly many others) have never heard of, such as Avatars, Clues and Sports IQ. “Before making these decisions, we look at a variety of factors,” wrote Rossiter. “The most critical question we ask is whether the experience is truly a daily habit that still resonates for all of you today.” For those who don’t speak corporate, the change is roughly akin to you finally starting to open old boxes in the attic, realizing the stuff you find is not even good enough for the yard sale and tossing it into the dumpster. For those who like to rifle through the trash, though, here’s the list of the latest detritus-to-be: Yahoo! Avatars Effective April 1, 2013, we will no longer support Yahoo! Avatars across our properties. If you like your existing avatar and want to keep it, please go to the Avatars download page, pick a picture size and format, and click the appropriate download button

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Giving Girls a Startup Chance in Silicon Valley

February 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sixteen tables line the sides of the showcase at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Grinning merchants man each one, enticing customers with their wares. For these startups, it’s their chance to make that major sale and perhaps win the support of a venture capitalist. One vendor happily completes a transaction with the flourish of a fuzzy, flower pen. Another group advertises their deluxe options — laptop stickers that range from “I

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Menlo Ventures’ Pishevar and Goldman’s Stanford to Found Sherpa, a Startup Aimed at Making New Startups

February 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Well-known Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur Shervin Pishevar of Menlo Ventures and Goldman Sachs tech banker Scott Stanford are starting a new company that will focus on formulating a new model of how startups are created. Pishevar confirmed his move, but Stanford did not respond to a query about the new effort. That said, sources said he and Pishevar will call the new venture Sherpa, which has two parts. One is called The Foundry, which is being funded by a number of major strategic corporations. It will also include well-known entrepreneur partners, but no investors or venture capital firms. There will also be a fund related to invest in the new companies created, which will also include assets from the larger companies. It’s not exactly an incubator or accelerator, said Pishevar in an interview, given the mixed record of those efforts to create startups. He would not give more details as yet. Pishevar will remain there as a venture advisor to Menlo, as part of the change, and has also been named a strategic advisor to Uber, the fast-growing car service. Said Pishevar: “I’m incredibly excited to announce my new endeavor, Sherpa and The Foundry. This is the biggest idea I’ve ever pursued

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