Yahoo! (YHOO) CEO Comes To Market With Game Plan

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Yahoo!’s (YHOO) new CEO, Carol Bartz, gets to run the company’s earnings cal this week. The results from the fourth quarter will probably be bad. It is hard to imagine how the forecast for 2009 will be better.

Bartz has already indicated that she is not in favor, at least for now, of selling the company’s search business to Microsoft. She may think she can pick up search share on Google (GOOG).If that is an accurate reflection of her strategy, she does not have many options for improving Yahoo!’s margins this year or improving its balance sheet. That is, unless she is willing to do radical surgery.

According to The Wall Street Journal, "Analysts and investors want to see a lot more cost-cutting and a plan for winning back business the Internet icon has lost to Google and a broad array of rivals.:

To improve its balance sheet, Yahoo! may elect to sell off its piece of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and its share of Yahoo! Japan, It a bad economy, it is hard to say how much these would fetch.

For the time being, that leaves cutting costs which almost certainly will involve cuts of a very llarge potion of the 13,000 people Yahoo! employs.

If the "Lose Weight In 30 Days" advertising running all over Yahoo! sites are any indication, advertisng is way down this year. The only way to offset that is to fire several thousand people.

Douglas A> McIntyre

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