Posts Tagged ‘yahoo’

Realities of Performance Appraisal

November 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Much has been written recently about performance ratings and management at some large and successful companies. Amazon has surfaced as a company implementing OLRs, organization and leadership reviews, which target the least effective 10% of an organization for appropriate action. Yahoo recently implemented QPRs, quarterly performance reviews, which rates people as “misses” or “occasionally misses” among other ratings. And just so we don’t think this is something unique to tech, every year about this time Wall St firms begin the annual bonus process which is filled with any number of legendary dysfunctions given the massive sums of money in play. Even the Air Force has a legendary process for feedback and appraisal. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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AllThingsD Week in Review: Twitter’s Product Problem and Ballmer Keeps His Microsoft Shares

November 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week: It’s official: Twitter is now a publicly traded company, with its IPO pricing Wednesday at $26 per share, hitting the NYSE on Thursday with a first-day pop up to $45 a share , before closing the week at $42.50. Even at $26, Twitter still raised quite a bit of money , giving a hefty paper net worth to its top executives. But is Twitter agile enough to fix its product problem , now that it’s answering to both users and public investors? As of Monday, BlackBerry is no longer trying to sell itself and is in the process of replacing CEO Thorstein Heins. The buyout bid’s failure sent BBRY shares into the floor , while Heins’s exit package adds up to between $7 million and $22 million . Despite its recent struggles, BlackBerry will not shut down its mobile handset business, according to interim CEO John Chen. Google’s Nexus 5 is the first Android phone to run the latest version of the mobile operating system, KitKat. But are the phone and the OS any sweeter? Walt Mossberg writes, “ I like both, though neither is an especially bold leap forward in features.” “Our business does not depend on collecting personal data ,” Apple writes in a formal report on federal government data requests — the first such report published by a tech company in the wake of the Snowden/NSA scandal

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Yahoo’s Mayer Now Chit-Chatting With Ryan Seacrest About Content Ideas

November 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is tearing her way through the content celebrities, it seems. First, news star Katie Couric . Then, prominent tech reviewer David Pogue . Now, it seems, she has engaged herself in preliminary discussions with Ryan Seacrest’s multi-pronged entertainment production company about what one source called “interesting business opportunities.” Oooh, I like interesting! Maybe a singing competition? Nope, he’s been there. Maybe a radio show? Yipes, he’s done that

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A Blueprint for a Massive Mobile Company

November 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Abraham Williams It sounds cliche, but mobile is the single-biggest secular technology platform shift of our time. It’s so big, it bears repeating, and for entrepreneurs (and investors like me), presents edge-of-our-seats opportunities waiting to be unlocked. This is no surprise, of course, as every big company and small startup is trying to focus on mobile. With so much competition in the mobile world, entrepreneurs could benefit by knowing a secret, and in this post, I will share one secret I’ve uncovered through my years of being a mobile entrepreneur and working on the “Facebook Home” team at the social network. This secret, I believe, could unlock an ever-lasting, durable, mobile technology company, not just an app someone launches on their phones and forgets about. I’ll cut to the chase: The secret is that there’s an opportunity for a mobile-focused startup to build the equivalent of Google’s Chrome Browser

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Lockerz, Though Not Quite Dead, Raises $9 Million to Shift Focus to New Shopping Site Ador

October 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the spring, reports surfaced that social commerce and photo-sharing service Lockerz was behind a new shoppable digital magazine called Ador . Now, a new filing with the SEC published online today sheds more light. Lockerz has rebranded its corporate name to Ador, and has raised $9 million of a possible $25 million round, the filing said. Despite the document’s wording, Lockerz.com is still operational. In an interview, Q Shay, who identified himself as Ador’s chief operating officer, said that the company had considered shutting Lockerz.com completely, but that it currently has enough repeat visitors to justify keeping it up and running. At the same time, the vast majority of spending will be invested into Ador.com going forward, not Lockerz, he said. Shay described the funding as a rights offering to its existing shareholders, which have included Kleiner Perkins and DAG Ventures. The Ador site pulls in images of celebrities and models from fashion blogs and then surfaces either the exact clothes and accessories worn in the photos or ones similar to them. Ador users can then click through to the site where the product is sold to purchase the item, with Ador getting a cut through affiliate networks. The service joins a crowded field of startups focused on creating a browsable shopping experience for the digital age. “In our case, we are taking a far different approach and really focusing on a specific audience … those primarily interested in fashion,” said product chief Max Ciccotosto. Shay acknowledged that there were layoffs earlier this year, but said the company has been hiring recently as it readied for Ador’s public launch earlier this month

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Tech Veteran Katie Mitic Joins Restoration Hardware Board

October 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Katie Mitic, a veteran of Facebook, Yahoo and Palm who is now CEO of Three Koi Labs, is joining Restoration Hardware’s board of directors , the company announced today. Mitic, who also serves on eBay’s board of directors, joins Restoration Hardware several years into a turnaround effort that has seen it rebrand as RH and move its focus toward higher-end furnishings.

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Departing Skype Exec Gillett to Become Head of "Value Creation" at Silver Lake

October 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Earlier today, I broke the news that top Skype exec Mark Gillett was leaving the Microsoft-owned telephony unit. The internal memo I referenced did not say, where he was headed, but apparently it is back to a place he has worked before: Private equity giant Silver Lake. (Mystery managed , as the British Gillett might say!) He will become head of value creation there in December, replacing Charles Giancarlo, who will transition into a senior advisor role. Until today, Gillett was corporate VP at Skype and Lync at Microsoft, in charge of its product, engineering and operations globally and managed 2,500 developers. He had been at Skype since before Microsoft bought it in 2011. He had previously led Silver Lake value creation team in Europe, with the deal for Skype being his most prominent effort. “Mark’s accomplishments at Skype have transformed the company,” said Silver Lake managing partner Egon Durban in a statement. “He is poised to make a significant contribution to our portfolio companies going forward.” At Silver Lake, according to a press release, Gillett will “lead the firm’s value creation activities as Silver Lake professionals continue to partner with the senior management of portfolio companies to refine and evolve business and technology strategy, enhance operational performance and accelerate business transformation.” (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds important.) Giancarlo, who is a well-known tech exec, is expected to eventually move to a top operational job at a company. His name had been raised as a possible CEO of Yahoo, for example, among others. He will remain at Silver Lake through the end of the year, before taking up his advisory role.

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Yahoo Snaps Up Image Discovery Startup LookFlow

October 23, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

LookFlow, a Mountain View, Calif.-based startup with technolgoy that incorporates artificial intelligence into a platform for image search and discovery, announced today it had been acquired by Yahoo and will join the Flickr unit . The team will also help Yahoo build a “deep learning group.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Yahoo to Shutter Cairo Office to "Streamline Operations" Globally

October 23, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Yahoo told employees today that it planned to close its office in Cairo, Egypt at the end of this year. There are about 40 staffers working there. Yahoo continues to operate in Amman, Jordan and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in the Middle East and Africa region, serving users of its Arabic Maktoob site. A spokesperson for the Silicon Valley Internet service said: “This decision is part of Yahoo’s global effort to streamline operations, encourage collaboration by bringing more Yahoos together in fewer locations, and build a strong global business that is set up for long-term growth.” Yahoo closed its operations in South Korea at the end of last year.

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With Flashy Pogue Deal and Couric Video Show on Deck, Marissa Mayer’s Content Strategy Emerges

October 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Since Mickie Rosen left as head of Yahoo media in July, the job has not been filled, although there have been efforts to search for someone to take over the Internet’s most high-profile content job. But why even bother? It’s clear from today’s announcement — in which New York Times tech reviewer David Pogue will be working for the Silicon Valley Internet giant — that there is only one media mogul in charge there. And that’s CEO Marissa Mayer. According to sources close to the situation, it was Mayer herself who took aim at Pogue, initiating her hands-on campaign to land him in July. She apparently impressed him with a larger effort she has been working on to strike a series of showy media deals with a list of well-known names she aims to nab. On that list, as I have previously reported in August , is telegenic television news star Katie Couric. Sources said that Couric is now close to completing a deal to put a Web interview show right on Yahoo’s home page. Couric has done previous appearances for Yahoo and there is already an offering called “Katie’s Take” on Yahoo News, launched about a year ago. But it is basically repurposed content from her ABC daytime talk show, “Katie,” and written by others. As I reported, the Couric deal would be much more substantive, centering on exclusive interviews with a range of high-profile celebrities, business execs and more, done by her specifically for the Web and prominently featured on the Yahoo homepage. Couric has been mulling the deal, which would move her from the small screen — she has appeared on all three major television networks — to an even smaller one. That said, sources said it is likely she will move forward with it. Pogue, too, has an unusual affinity for making elaborate and sometimes awkward videos to accompany his consumer reviews, including one of him dancing and singing through the streets of New York when he got an Apple iPhone (in fact, his refrain was: ‘I got an iPhone!!’). Nabbing big names seems to be a key priority for Mayer and strengthening its online video efforts has been a recent key focus for Mayer in reviving Yahoo’s fortunes, along with mobile, and sources said that she has talked a lot internally about creating some kind of competitor to Google’s YouTube. Yahoo already tried unsuccessfully to buy France’s Dailymotion, and has since been mulling other major acquisitions in the space. Mayer has waded into the arena herself in her two video presentations of Yahoo’s earnings that have been formulated in a news-broadcast style

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