Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

After New CEO Scott “Nice Guy” Thompson Meets Yahoo VPs, It’s Time for All-Hands Meeting to Say Hello!

Here’s the news that came out of a meeting that newborn Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson had yesterday afternoon with the VP-and-above staff of the Silicon Valley Internet giant:

No. 1: Yahoo is both a media and tech company.

No. 2: His focus for the next four weeks will be internal meetings and getting to know the staff.

No. 3: Thompson uses the following Yahoo products — email, finance and news.

No. 4: He is very good at explaining what eBay’s PayPal — where he just served as its president — is.

“If he can do that, maybe he can let us all finally know what Yahoo is, too,” joked one VP, referencing the well-known difficulty Yahoo’s CEOs have had with clearly defining the company’s mission.

But Thompson — whom every single person I spoke to called a “nice guy” — declined to say much about the stuff everyone really wanted to know, from the Asian assets (no comment!) to the possible investments by private equity firms (no comment!) and more (no comment!).

Most VPs I interviewed seemed to have a wait-and-see attitude about Thompson, who is not the kind of high-profile hire some had expected. Of prime worry: The steep learning curve he might have, in a time that requires urgency.

“He’s not the game-changer, but he seems very competent,” said another VP. “We’ll see.”

Indeed, we will. And, to start, Thompson is on display for the entire Yahoo staff at an all-hands employee meeting on Yahoo’s Sunnyvale campus, which is taking place right now.

More to come on that soon, as my embeds call in reports! (Was my invite lost in the mail? Not very nice!)

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik