Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Tries to Bake Up Some Sales Excitement in the Desert


I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name/It felt good to be out of the rain/In the desert you can remember your name/’cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.

Actually, for Yahoo (YHOO), which is holding its big annual meeting of the company’s advertising sales staff in Indian Wells, Calif., maybe just a little pain since BoomTown is only a scant few miles away, as the crow flies, attending the Demo09 conference in Palm Desert.

Don’t worry, Yahoo PR, I will not crash the proceedings or be bribing the bartenders to get more leaks. But you Yahoos should still be careful with the wine in the hot tub anyway–as Carol says, loose lips sink ships!

The gathering–to which Yahoos were greeted at Palm Springs Airport by purple Yahoo-capped greeters and were ferried to the Marriott’s Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa via limos, according to many Demo attendees who ran right into the phalanx–is being run by Yahoo sales head Joanne Bradford.

Bradford has the unenviable task of selling into the weak ad market and driving sales, despite a very troubled economy and a company trying to claw its way back to stability. And, of course, getting Yahoo’s much buffeted sales staff jazzed up to do so.

Bradford will be helped in inspiring Yahoo’s large sales staff with what is sure to be a cussing-good appearance by CEO Carol Bartz.

Just last week, Bartz announced a massive reorganization of the company’s management to streamline it and make decision-making quicker.

“She thinks it critical she be there to get the troops excited,” said a Yahoo in the know.


How much do I wish I were there to see that performance? Much! (Except for the part in which I would be thrown out on my keester by Bartz herself, despite my plan to disguise myself by wearing all the Yahoo swag I have collected over the years.)

Instead, I am riveted to the goings on here at Demo. Right now, for example, I am watching an it’s-always-darkest-before-the-dawn session with venture investors on the dire economic situation, and about to see a new “touch book” computer.

Video of that and more, of course, to come.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald