We’ve all heard insanity defined as doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Today, Yahoo‘s board is getting a little crazy, hiring the same executive search firm that unearthed Carol Bartz to find the company’s next CEO.
Bartz’s appointment as CEO was engineered by Heidrich & Struggles partner John Thompson.
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With any luck, both the firm and Yahoo’s own board will steer clear of any mistakes that might lead to another Bartz.
Bartz, who only joined the company in 2009, is known for being a foul-mouthed firebrand. She was fired last month in the wake of underperforming ad sales, slow growth in public trading, mishandled relationships with Asian partners and a fast-spinning revolving door of Yahoo executives.
The day after the firing, Yahoo reportedly took on new advisers to conduct a thorough review of Yahoo’s performance and assets.
Meanwhile, the sudden shift in Yahoo’s leadership has had many would-be acquiring CEOs salivating. Alibaba CEO Jack Ma publicly stated two weeks ago that he is “very, very interested” in acquiring Yahoo.
And Aol CEO Tim Armstrong is reportedly just as eager, pitching the acquisition to shareholders as a money-saving merger that would allow both companies to get rid of duplications in overhead and content while dominating online advertising.
Whether Yahoo’s board — or its new CEO — will seriously entertain acquisition or merger talks is currently unknown. But the company is without doubt in an unsettled state and is in powerful need of strong, sage leadership as soon as possible.