Internet pioneer Yahoo is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results after the stock market closes Tuesday. And all eyes are on Carol Bartz, the technology veteran who replaced Jerry Yang earlier this month as the firm’s CEO.
Most analysts expect Bartz — known as a tough, savvy leader — to start off by setting a low earnings hurdle for Yahoo to clear in 2009, giving her a better opportunity to surpass expectations as she tries to prove she is the right person for the job.
Will Bartz Sell?
As she tries to figure out how to lift Yahoo's drooping profits and stock price, Bartz also is likely to decide if it makes sense for the company to sell its search operations to Microsoft . While the software maker has made it clear it no longer wants to buy Yahoo in its entirety, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has repeatedly said he remains interested in buying Yahoo's search engine or forming a partnership aimed at undercutting Google's dominance for the search market.
Bartz has indicated she is unlikely to make any dramatic changes until she gets a better grasp on Yahoo's strengths and weaknesses — a process that could take several months. She already has underscored her intention to control costs by imposing a pay freeze for the rest of this year.