Kara Visits Yahoo Europe in London
While in London, I paid a visit to the offices of Yahoo, which are now located near Covent Garden (less upscale than its tonier digs in years past), and which is the new home of its new managing director, Toby Coppel.
Coppel, pictured here and whom I have known for many years, comes from ground zero–literally these days–at Yahoo’s HQ in Sunnyvale, Calif. There, he most recently was the company’s chief strategy officer, reporting directly to recently departed CEO Terry Semel, in a job that included much of the portal giant’s deal-making worldwide.
In Europe, the United Kingdom-born-and-educated Coppel replaced Dominique Vidal, in what will be Coppel’s first foray into serious hands-on operations.
He will have his work cut out for him.
To start, here is a short video of my visit to Yahoo Europe’s HQ, as well as a tiny tour of London on my way there:
In many key aspects, Yahoo lags behind–guess who?–Google and even Microsoft across Europe, according to numerous recent studies.
In a recent report by SearchIgnite and RBC Capital Markets, for example, Google won the search monetization battle, with 76% market share (though it serves only 60% of ad impressions), while Yahoo got just over 18% (a 34% overall search share).
And Comscore recently released its first pan-European review of online activity, showing Google as the most popular property in 13 of 16 countries, with Microsoft often coming in second. Yahoo was third in line overall, despite making the top three list in only Ireland, Italy and Spain.
Still, Coppel could easily move the numbers for Yahoo, by cleaning up operations (like giving more attention to its Kelkoo shopping-comparison site, acquired in 2004 for $579 million); kissing up to a European ad market worried about Google dominance; and making a spate of sharp acquisitions (like, say, Euro-popular social-networking site Bebo, with which Yahoo has never held talks despite rumors).
Some good news: Yahoo’s new Panama ad-monetization system and other improvements have recently been rolled out in Europe, and Coppel is logging in a lot of frequent-flyer miles since he got here in early July assessing the situation overall. Plus, he knows how to make a deal.
While the humble Coppel did not want to go on the record on my video yet or talk in detail about his plans–preferring to wait, he said, until he gets a lay of the land–he was upbeat about Yahoo’s prospects in mobile, reaching out to more advertisers with better offerings and in injecting some aggression into the troops here.
“The battle is far from over,” he said, noting that there are a range of ways Yahoo could regain its once-dominant status in an ever-changing media and tech landscape here. He’s right about that–although Yahoo has to act aggressively and quickly.
Coppel promised to answer a range of questions about Yahoo Europe in the coming weeks, so send some to me at email@example.com or leave them in comments.
Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.