First off, I could call my buddies at JP Morgan, or as I like to cal them ‘Jip Me’ Morgan and turn that into $3 trillion in derivatives and plunk it down in a greek recovery led by the lovely ‘Golden Dawn’ party.
There is no one way that Ross can fix things. The Board is a shitshow of ego’s and self dealers.
I would focus on the strengths like Sports and Finance where the demographics of the user are best and wrap a communication product around them to start. I would continue to slash and burn on the executive side of people in power more than 6 years. Cut until something breaks.
On the acquisition and growth side, i think for example, Yahoo could buy Hootsuite to put them in the real-time communication dashboard business. I would also than focus on the fastest way to socialize certain verticals of their data.
As fast as possible, I would be turning the data inside out, much like Chartbeat (a Betaworks) company does for publishers.
Display advertising, like page views, is a busted and stressful business. Yes it scales, but more Companies need to think like Bloomberg and less like Silicon Valley as we head into the next phase of the mobile web. Communications, data and social graphs are all possibilities off the traffic funnels of Yahoo’s main sites.
Ross and his tightest group of lieutenants need to plant themselves in every nook and cranny of Y Combinator, Tech Stars and Angel List to start scouting and drafting better. Take risk early. Give new people some flexibility to make mistakes without layers of management.
Finally screw quarterly results for the first 18 months.
The idea of an asset sale that passes the traffic potato into someone else’s hands is most likely, but I would love to see something else emerge for the good of the legacy web.
Good luck Ross.