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Mon Nov 30 2015 21:13:15

Should John Donahoe Give Yahoo the eBay Treatment?

By: Ina Steiner

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Wall Street firm SunTrust Robinson Humphrey has been critical of former Google executive Marrisa Mayer's performance at Yahoo, but it crossed the line today when it published a report in which, out-of-the-blue, it listed 30 executives who would be viable successors.

And surprise, surprise, former eBay CEO John Donahoe's name showed up - qualified to run Yahoo, according to SunTrust, because he orchestrated the turnaround of eBay.

Naturally the media picked up on SunTrust's report today with headlines questioning whether Mayer should be fired. In one story, CNN reported that there had been no backlash in September when NYU Stern School of Business professor Scott Galloway told Bloomberg that Mayer still had her job only because she was pregnant.

Is it a case of the "old boy" network? (Note that Yahoo's Chairman of the Board is no other than former eBay executive Maynard Webb.) Or is Donahoe full of the people skills that Mayer seems to lack?

While it's rare to find current or former eBay employees who will criticize management, a glance at a Wall Street Journal article from last week reveals plenty of "people familiar with" and "people who have worked closely with" dishing out negative comments about Mayer.

Like Donahoe, Mayer inherited a company facing extreme challenges. And as Donahoe did, Mayer has repeatedly said reviving growth at her company would take multiple years, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But while John Donahoe kept rolling out new 3-year turnaround plans each year with little progress shown, analysts were supportive of his strategies.

The case is different with Mayer - the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mayer's investors have become impatient.

When Donahoe had bad news to report, he used every trick in the spin book. But here's what the Wall Street Journal wrote of Mayer: "When the Ms. Mayer is forced to deliver bad news, she employs what she calls a "jiu-jitsu move" - trying to create a diversion by producing tantalizing information, according to people who have worked closely with her." 

The question isn't why analysts are looking critically at Mayer's performance at Yahoo. It's why they never gave John Donahoe's performance the same treatment.

What should Yahoo's board of directors know about John Donahoe's performance at eBay that might guide them in making a decision should they decide to oust Mayer?

See more in Tuesday's Newsflash, available here.



Comments (46) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Should John Donahoe Give Yahoo the eBay Treatment?   Should John Donahoe Give Yahoo the eBay Treatment?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Nov 30 21:35:53 2015

First my apology to Ms Mayer for what I am about to say....

If Yahoo decides to part ways with Ms Mayer, they should jump at the chance to steal Donahoe - with the condition that he sever all ties with PayPal and eBay.

If Donahoe joined Yahoo, there is little doubt he would raid both eBay and PayPal executive ranks of so called talent.

The resulting vacancies would be the beneficial for both PayPal and eBay as those who leave are responsible for the majority of success blocking policies that have held both companies back.

Were this to happen, it would be a major step forward especially for eBay as it is hard to imagine that those who would fill any vacancies would be capable of being as self defeating as the team Donahoe cobbled together.

This would be the opportunity for the purge that might just be the only way to save eBay, and one that would save PayPal from meeting the same fate eBay now finds itself in after a decade under Donahoes failed leadership.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 30 22:25:51 2015

"...because he orchestrated the turnaround of eBay."

If "turnaround" is a euphemism for crashing and burning, yeah, JD was awesome!

Yahoo's BoD needs to read the articles on this site for the last eight years for an idea of what they will be facing if JD is put in charge. He ruined eBay and now he's ruining PayPal (if the recent service disruptions are any indication). Yahoo needs to hire someone who doesn't use his "thinking days" for imagining ways to orchestrate more $23M bonuses.  

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by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 22:30:45 2015

Yahoo appears to be in a verrry slow death spiral. If Donahoe becomes its CEO, with any luck he could accelerate that, and free up lots of resources to work on more productive initiatives.

Either that, or he could find a job driving a newspaper delivery truck.

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by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 22:39:59 2015

I am very familiar with what John Donahoe did at eBay. He absolutely destroyed the company.

I have only passing familiarity with Marrisa Mayer's work at Yahoo. I am not a fan.

If these are presented as the two choices by Wall Street reporters then I have to suggest those reporters need to think harder.

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by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 22:42:56 2015

@ignatz
"Either that, or he could find a job driving a newspaper delivery truck."

Who is going to hire Donahoe to drive a truck? That would be crazy. He would just spend full days thinking about how to better drive into straight into the ground. The man has only one skill!

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Nov 30 23:06:25 2015

On a serious note : Donahoe is no longer able. Step him down with an air of dignity.

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by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 23:35:18 2015

Ebay was turned around? Oh yea. Backwars in a "we cant possibly survive much longer before we shutter our windows" sort of way. NO ONE should be looking at JD's tenure as a success.

Perminate Link for Should John Donahoe Give Yahoo the eBay Treatment?   Should John Donahoe Give Yahoo the eBay Treatment?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 23:48:44 2015

Yahoo is in trouble because:

1) LIKE EBAY the people running it have no clue what they are doing

2) Absolutely NO business plan to move the company ahead

Those 2 things aptly describe John Donhue. With is "little good boy looks" and smug charm, he can and does charm the pants off anyone near him - and thats his ONLY skill.

Theres no monetary reason that JD got $23 million. eBay is in worse shape now then ever. They jettisoned all the other components that made eBay money, made more stupid anti seller ideas then ever, and became a bloated (23,000 employee) laughing stock (manufacturers, the industry, sellers and ever tv personnel).

DJ is King Midas in reverse - if Yahoo wants him - good luck to them - it would be ANOTHER bone headed move. Yahoo auctions does great in Japan and was fine here till the brain trusts did away with it.

eBay was fine till JD walked in ... see the similarities?

JD is just looking for another $23 million to steal from some one - it wont be me - I gave up Yahoo stores YEARS ago!

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by: sparky This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 00:26:48 2015

Donahoe should sit and ponder for about 10 years.  He gouged the little sellers, wrecked ebay. Hopefully he saved some of the $10,000,000 / year plus bonuses he made at ebay.  He's a failure.

Perminate Link for Should John Donahoe Give Yahoo the eBay Treatment?   Should John Donahoe Give Yahoo the eBay Treatment?

by: odona This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 00:38:28 2015

Unreal concept - talk about circle jerks! JD shouldn't be in business, he should be in congress where he can REALLY do a lot of damage! Yahoo simply outlived its viability as a platform for anything but compiling news in one place...JD and Meg before him actually created the cesspool that ebay has become. Businesses have a natural size and scope and, with very few exceptions, can and should stay within it. The lunatics who created their own hallucination that ebay could be a major player in the dream world of wall street were and are just that - lunatics. Don't get me wrong - we made a lot of $$ riding the stock prices of that hallucination; but we watched as our own relatively lucrative business all but disappear into the ebay scam. God bless em all and let Donahoe for US Senator be the next rallying cry. Maybe he can get a position watching the corporate raiders.

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 00:57:12 2015

I hear Walmart is hiring...at least for the holiday season ;-)

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by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 01:08:51 2015

iheartjacksparrow...
"...because he orchestrated the turnaround of eBay."

= about as effectively as the Captain of the Titanic when it approached the iceberg... yeesch ! what universe are these analysts living in ?

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 02:39:30 2015

1st of all - why is he looking for a job? From where I'm sitting it looked like his sole objective while at ebay was to stock pile money and benefits for himself. Didn't he leave there with MILLIONS? Seriously - how much money does one person need? Go buy some private little island somewhere and declare yourself king. Please don't set about to ruin more peoples lives. Good lord.

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by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 02:55:41 2015

Guess I'll start moving my private and business email accounts and websites from Yahoo to another host.  Because you know damn well if Yahoo hires Donohoe, he will totally screw up Yahoo.  And Yahoo is finally working decently.  Donohoe is clueless.  Can't Wall Street investors see that?  Mayer at least has the tech side of Yahoo finally working again.  OTOH, it would get Donhoe out of PP, which is already starting to see daily glitches (gee sound familiar?).

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 03:10:04 2015

Take that Old Boy Network and burn it.

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by: Joey4711 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 03:16:22 2015

Donahoe has a track record that is less than desirable.  He took a business & to his credit  reduced the fraud issues but he also let the business go to absolutely hell.  

He allowed Amazon with his Westfield mall failure which blows my mind he can stay in power but the board is all buddy buddy.

Amazon should hire the idiot in my view to go work at other companies he can destroy so Amazon can be the greatest there ever was.  Lets see Etsy needs him that way Amazon can get all the Handmade business.  He is a poor leader in my opinion & the results of his leadership with slowing growth & allowing Amazon to overtake Ebay is on his shoulders.

However, how was he displicined no way, he was rewarded with a pay package. So I hope Bezos hires him & tells him go run UPS that way it can go to hell as well, so Amazon could possible purchase it much cheaper instead of having to start their own delivery.

I think Suntrust is either influenced by him or his publicist, you scratch my back I scratch yours. Yahoo would be an idiot in my view to hire him.  I can't understand why he wasn't fired as he claimed over & over that Paypal & eBay were joined at the hip & needed each other.  Guess what?  They don't.  

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 03:41:55 2015

This guy is not even capable of being the idiot working at MCDS who forgets to drop the fries at lunchtime, who makes the line of cars back up around the building blocking off the exit to the drive thru line.

This idiot took over ebay. Hired a couple idiots to find out what amazon was doing. Then half ass implemented only the things that cause dissatisfaction, and failing at anything that would even remotely make the place appeal to anyone.

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 03:47:06 2015

Amazon's greatest success story, and the one of the largest driving factors to their massive growth was JD. Unfortunately it was like a basketball player scoring the winning buzzer beating 3 point shot in the WRONG goal.

.......Ya let em tank yahoo. That may just help google's bank account surpass Apple's

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by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 1 05:05:33 2015






Yahoo run do not walk  from Donahoe..


Or expect to go down the drain like he did eBay !

The moron only knows how to destroy!







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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Dec 1 06:22:11 2015

Wouldn't surprise me a bit if a backroom deal was made for Donahoe to split that 23 million with the Board. All the debt was dumped on eBay after the ''split''. No money was ever put back into ebay during JD's reign of destruction. The entire system is on life support with out-of-date servers patched up with duct tape, glue and old nuts & bolts leftover from other failed projects. I'm sure Yahoo has more money JD can get his mitts on using his 3 year turnaround scam, I mean plan.

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