A quick glance into the past of newly appointed Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz shows that she has a good chance of turning the troubled search company around, even if a three per cent drop in Yahoo's share price on Tuesday shows that Wall Street is clearly thinking otherwise.
Following the appointment of the former Autodesk chief, sceptics highlighted Bartz's lack of experience in the web business and the Web 2.0 environment as reasons why she might not be suited to the role.
How can Bartz bring Yahoo back as a serious competitor to Google, they asked, when her experience lies in old-school technology companies? And does Bartz have the deal-making capabilities necessary to secure what is now considered a much needed sale of the search business to Microsoft, or a merger with AOL?
Industry analysts have demonstrated more faith in Yahoo's decision, however, pointing to Bartz's skilled leadership and management style during her 14-year tenure at Autodesk, and as senior marketing executive during a period at Sun Microsystems.
"Bartz is a leader for tough times, having fought through numerous brand and product reinventions, not to mention economic climate changes," said Gartner analyst Allen Weiner in his blog.
Kara Swisher, producer and host of the All Things Digital technology and media conference, noted in her blog that Bartz has proved investors' anxieties wrong before and has the potential to do so again.
When Bartz started at Autodesk, doubts emerged about her ability to run a major technology company, especially when she was entering what was then a firm largely composed of co-founders and programmers.
Even with her experience in helping grow Sun into a billion-dollar giant, Bartz was still an outsider at Autodesk, and it was thought that this would make success difficult.
But Bartz proved the reports wrong while head of Autodesk from 2002 to 2006 by lifting the company's revenues from $285m to $1.523bn (£195m to £1.04bn). She was also listed by Forbes as one of the world's 100 most powerful women in 2004 and 2005.
Clearly Yahoo has chosen Bartz because it believes she can deliver similar accomplishments at the internet firm.
"The board is united in its view that her energetic and decisive leadership style, coupled with a proven track record of driving growth, operational excellence and shareholder value, is exactly what Yahoo needs to get back on a path toward achieving its full potential," said Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock in a statement.
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