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Yahoo welcomes a new CEO — and misses on second-quarter earnings

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Yahoo's Santa Monica location. The company missed earnings expectations today for its second quarter.

Yahoo just named a new CEO — Google veteran Marissa Mayer — but on the day she was supposed to start work, the company also announced second-quarter earnings, and they missed expectations by $0.02 a share. Wall Street wanted $0.20 per share and got $0.18. But Yahoo still made money: about $227 million, down from a year ago, a profit nonetheless. 

The Wall Street Journal cut to the chase ("GAAP" is an accounting term — it's best to favor the GAAP and discount the non-GAAP, but non-GAAP can provide a sense of how much raw profits is coming in the door):

The numbers are sort of a split decision. A beat on a non-GAAP basis, a bit low on a GAAP basis, revenue a little light. That lack of growth or traction crystallizes the sort of stagnation that’s captured Yahoo for several years now. Mayer has her work cut out for her.

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New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gives liberal arts grads hope

Google Previews New Search Technology

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Marissa Mayer speaks during an announcement in San Francisco, California. She says verbal skills are just as important as math ability for future programmers.

Marissa Mayer, the new, 37-year-old CEO of Yahoo, is a computer scientist through and through. She graduated from Stanford and was officially Google employee number 20. Okay, so maybe she doesn't program day-to-day anymore. But she's a reliable source of insight about the craft. 

Or is it an art? A liberal art? Here she is in a Daily Beast interview, talking about what makes a good programmer:

“One of the more interesting things they’ve found is that programming aptitude and excellence is more tied to verbal SAT scores than to math SAT scores,” she explained. “Beyond basic mathematical aptitude, the difference between good programmers and great programmers is verbal ability.”

Interesting. And maybe something the hardcore programmer community, with their all-night hackathons, doesn't want to hear. Could it be that Mayer is a more radical chief executive, in terms of how she thinks about preparation for the Silicon Valley life, than we've been led to think?

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New CEO Marissa Mayer is a huge hire for Yahoo

FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Dinner New York City

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Inc.

Marissa Mayer speaks onstage at the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Dinner New York City. The 37-year-old was named CEO of Yahoo today.

One thing's for sure about newly named Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer: no one will question the Stanford computer science grad's credentials, as they ultimately did those of Mayer's predecessor, Scott Thompson, who had exaggerations in his resume that were revealed by activist Yahoo shareholder Dan Loeb earlier this year.

Mayer actually ups the ante on engineering cred: the 37-year-old was Google's first female engineer, as well as one of the first 20 employees hired (she was in fact number 20). She can't, however, repeat that achievement in the Yahoo C-suite: she follows Carol Bartz (ousted last September) as the second woman to hold the top job.

This move has taken the tech world by surprise ("shock" might be a better word). It was widely expected interim CEO Ross Levinsohn would get the nod, given that he seemed to have Loeb's support. In this respect, the naming of Mayer is earth-shattering, and it comes on the heels of rumors that she had been passed over for advancement at Google, even though she had been standing in for co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at public events and in the media. Mayer ranks right alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as powerful women in Silicon Valley go.

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Making money from YouTube: Is it a mystery?

Epic-Meal-Time

Bacon plus bacon plus bacon equals YouTube success.

David Lazarus — of the Los Angeles Times and also our go-to guest host for "AirTalk" and "The Patt Morrison Show" here at KPCC — had a recent column in which he pondered the moneymaking prospects of You Tube:

Making money from YouTube videos — it's something I've always wondered about. You won't get rich stuffing Mentos into bottles of Diet Pepsi, right?

Probably not. But millions of people are at least hoping for some modest returns, thanks to a profit-sharing program run by YouTube's corporate parent, tech heavyweight Google.

He then talked with Andrew Broadbent, a YouTube consultant (How's that for a job title?):

..."You just have to believe YouTube that the figures are the real deal."

He added that serious money — more than $100,000 a year — actually can be made for the talented (or lucky) few who rise to YouTube greatness. But the vast majority of the site's hundreds of millions of users will barely earn enough cash annually to buy a pizza.

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Microsoft won the AOL patent bidding and is now selling to...Facebook

CeBIT 2012 Technology Trade Fair

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Visitors watch a presentaiton of fetaures of the new Windows 8 operating system at the Microsoft stand on the first day of the CeBIT 2012 technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany. Microsoft announced that its selling $550-million worth of former AOL patents to Facebook.

Microsoft recently beat out Facebook for the right to purchase 925 patents and patent applications from AOL. The winning bid? $1.6 billion. But now Microsoft has turned around and essentially flipped a large portion of that patent portfolio, and the buyer is...Facebook!

In the context of a declining stock market and problems in Europe, Facebook — and more accurately, Facebook's investors — has to be getting worried about its upcoming IPO, which is supposed to be able to value the company at $100 billion. The Instagram purchase was stage one. Now comes this big patent buy, with Facebook paying for $550-million worth of patents that Microsoft evidently doesn't really need.

That said, you could argue — as CNET's Paul Sloan implies — that Microsoft was just doing Facebook a nice, big favor by leveraging its balance sheet to vacuum up the AOL patents, sparing Facebook the need to spend any of its own cash. Microsoft is nowhere in social media, so a "long-standing alliance" with Facebook makes sense, as both companies pitch in to weaken Google. 

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