Direct Line Blog

Search Alliance was beginning of the end for Bartz

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Carol Bartz is out at Yahoo, prompting speculation about the Internet giant's future and debates about office etiquette.

But what shouldn't be overlooked is the large role that search marketing played in Yahoo's troubles in recent years. Bartz had called its search deal with Microsoft Corp. “a game changer” and the reason for “a great day at Yahoo” when the companies announced it more than two years ago. But it never worked out for Yahoo, although it did pay dividends for Bing.

When industry experts look back on Bartz's tenure at Yahoo, her unconventional firing and blunt speaking style will get much of the attention. But the Bing-Yahoo Search Alliance should get the lion's share of the blame for her downfall.

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