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A-level management is essential at any company. In the current economic downturn, many companies are facing setbacks and struggling with rapidly evolving markets that only the best leaders can deal with.
Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) was once leader in display ad revenue until it was toppled by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) in 2011, which is in turn expected to be toppled by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) in 2012. According to eMarketer, Yahoo will fall to just 7 percent of the $20 billion display ad market by 2014, less than half of Facebook’s stake and a third of Google’s. ComScore released July 2012 numbers that put Yahoo’s search share at 13 percent, third behind Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google. The company posted a 4.4 percent drop in year-over-year quarterly earnings when Marissa Mayer took charge.
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Mayer was brought on board as a turn-around CEO and pretty much everybody knows she has a tough job ahead of her. Shares of the company are only up 0.19 percent through September 25 since she started. Despite significant changes to the culture and management style at Yahoo, investors haven’t rallied behind her yet.
The fate of the company is largely in her hands. Before Mayer, Carol Bartz and Scott Thompson were ousted by a board unhappy with their performance. The company has been looking for the right turnaround leader for a while. If Mayer can’t pull it off, the company could fall so far behind it will never catch up.
Reuters reports that Radioshack (NYSE:RSH) CEO James Gooch stepped down on Wednesday, “as the once-iconic electronics retailer seeks to revive its fortunes after a series of strategic setbacks.” Like Yahoo, the company has failed to keep up with the competition over the past several years. Retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) have helped drive shares of Radioshack down 73.31 percent this year through yesterday.
Spokesman Eric Bruner said, “Moving forward with the decision sooner rather than later will help establish the right leadership to address the company’s challenges.” In order to turn the company around, Alan Rifkin, an analyst at Barclays Capital, wrote in a note that the new leader would need a “unique strategic vision.”
Morris Ajzenman, senior research analyst at Griffin Securities, said that the future “depends on who they bring in and what vision they bring in for the company to turn this cruise ship around.” Consensus is that putting the right person at the helm is the cure for what ails Radioshack.
Looking into the future, Bloomberg reports that long-time Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) CEO John Chambers could retire in the coming years. Cisco remains one of the most important technology companies in the world, but in order to stay at the top of the game leadership needs to be innovative and competent.
Chambers has lead Cisco since 1995 and once made it the world’s most valuable company. Whoever steps into his shoes will have to tread territory just as complicated and chaotic as the dot-com boom. Cisco faces challenges unique to the technology sector and a new CEO will have to figure out how navigate the cloud and big-data, which are both slated to change how business is done.
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