Traded as NASDAQ: YHOO, NASDAQ-100 Component, S&P 500 Component
Founded March 1, 1995
Founder(s) Jerry Yang, David Filo
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Maynard Webb (Interim Chairman), Marissa Mayer (CEO)
Products See Yahoo! products
Revenue Decrease US$ 4.98 billion (2012)
Operating income Decrease US$ 566 million (2012)
Net income Increase US$ 3.94 billion (2012)
Total assets Increase US$ 17.10 billion (2012)
Total equity Increase US$ 14.56 billion (2012)
Employees 11,500 (2013)
Yahoo! Inc. NASDAQ: YHOO is a computer services company with a mission to “be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses”. It operates an Internet portal, the Yahoo! Directory and a host of other services including the popular Yahoo! Mail. It was founded by Stanford graduate students David Filo and Jerry Yang in January 1994 and incorporated on March 2, 1995. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
Yahoo! states that it attracts “more than half a billion consumers every month in more than 30 languages.
Yahoo! started out as “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” but eventually received a new moniker with the help of a dictionary. “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” is a backronym for “yahoo!“, but Filo and Yang insist they selected the name because they liked the word’s general definition, as in Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift: “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth.” (For this reason the word “Yahoo!” should be pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable.) Yahoo! itself first resided on Yang’s student workstation, “Akebono,” while the software was lodged on Filo’s computer, “Konishiki”—both named after legendary sumo wrestlers. The “yet another” phrasing goes back at least to the Unix utility yacc, whose name is an acronym for “yet another compiler compiler”.
Yahoo! had its initial public offering on April 12, 1996, raising $33.8 million dollars, by selling 2.6 million shares at $13 each.
As Yahoo!’s popularity has increased, so has the range of features it offers, making it a kind of one-stop shop for all the popular activities of the Internet. These now include: Yahoo! Mail, a Web-based e-mail service, an instant messaging client, a very popular mailing list service (Yahoo! Groups), online gaming and chat, various news and information portals, online shopping and auction facilities. Many of these are based at least in part on previously independent services, which Yahoo! has acquired – such as the popular GeoCities free Web-hosting service, Rocketmail, and various competing mailing list providers such as eGroups. Many of these take-overs were controversial and unpopular with users of the existing services, as Yahoo! often changed the relevant terms of service. An example of this would be their claiming intellectual property rights for the content on their servers, which the original companies had not done.
At the pinnacle of the Internet boom in the year 2000, the cable news station CNBC reported that Yahoo! Inc. and eBay were in discussions to initiate a 50/50 merger .
Yahoo! has partnerships with telecommunications and Internet providers – such as BT in the UK, Rogers in Canada and SBC ,Verizon and BellSouth in the US – to create content-rich broadband services to rival those offered by AOL. The company offers a branded credit card, Yahoo! Visa, through a partnership with First USA.
Beginning in late 2002, Yahoo! began to bolster its search services by acquiring relevant companies. In December 2002, Yahoo! acquired Inktomi, and in July 2003, it acquired Overture Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries AltaVista and AlltheWeb. On February 18, 2004, Yahoo! dropped Google-powered results and returned to using its own technology to provide search results.
As of 2005 Yahoo!’s news message boards have gained something of a cult following. Attached to every story is a discussion board, yet rarely are the posts pertinent to the story. Often, the posts are deliberately outrageous, attempting to provoke angry responses which, in turn, lead to more offensive posts and so on. No news story, however sacrosanct, is spared.
In June 2005 Yahoo! acquired blo.gs, a service based on RSS feed aggregation, primarily from weblogs (hence the name), which produces a simple list (and also an RSS feed thereof) of freshly updated Weblogs, ordered according to recentness of update. blo.gs was the first Internet company hosted on a domain hack Yahoo! acquired, del.icio.us being the second.
In February 2008, Microsoft Corporation made an unsolicited bid to acquire Yahoo! for USD $44.6 billion. Yahoo! formally rejected the bid, claiming that it “substantially undervalues” the company and was not in the interest of its shareholders. Three years later, Yahoo! had a market capitalization of USD $22.24 billion. Carol Bartz replaced Yang as CEO in January 2009. In September 2011, she was removed from her position at Yahoo! by the company’s chairman Roy Bostock, and CFO Tim Morse was named as Interim CEO of the company.
In early 2012, after the appointment of Scott Thompson as CEO, rumors began to spread about looming layoffs. Several key executives, such as Chief Product Officer Blake Irving left. On April 4, 2012, Yahoo! announced a cut of 2,000 jobs or about 14 percent of its 14,100 workers. The cut is expected to save around $375 million annually after the layoffs are completed at end of 2012. In an email sent to employees in April 2012, Thompson reiterated his view that customers should come first at Yahoo! He also completely reorganized the company.
On May 13, 2012, Yahoo! issued a press release stating that Thompson was no longer with the company, and would immediately be replaced on an interim basis by Ross Levinsohn, recently appointed head of Yahoo!’s new Media group. Thompson’s total compensation for his 130-day tenure with Yahoo! was at least $7.3 million.
On July 16, 2012, Marissa Mayer was appointed President and CEO of Yahoo!, effective the following day.
On May 19, 2013 the Yahoo board approved a US$1.1 billion purchase of blogging site Tumblr, and the company’s CEO and founder David Karp will remain a large shareholder. The announcement reportedly signifies a changing trend in the technology industry, as large corporations like Yahoo, Facebook, and Google acquire start-up Internet companies that generate low amounts of revenue as a way in which to connect with sizeable, fast-growing online communities. The Wall Street Journal stated that the purchase of Tumblr would satisfy the company’s need for “a thriving social-networking and communications hub.” On May 20, the company announced the acquisition of Tumblr officially.
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