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Posted by Fatemeh Khatibloo on September 16, 2011
My Customer Intelligence colleagues and I, like many others, can't help but wonder how Carol Bartz's departure from Yahoo! is going to play out for the digital behemoth. Shar VanBoskirk's post last week summarizes Yahoo!'s current state, and I agree with her assessment that the company's assets are worth far more piecemeal than as a whole. As she points out, Yahoo!'s advertising capabilities are one of its greatest assets.
But from a CI perspective, so is its OpenID-based Yahoo! ID, which enables single sign-on (SSO) functionality for its more than 273mm global email-service users. Now, while a relative minority of those users actually take advantage of Yahoo! ID across the web today, the demand for SSO and federated identity is growing such that Yahoo!'s broad user base and consumer trust is already tremendously valuable.
So, who are the "unusual suspects" that have the most interesting opportunity for acquiring Yahoo!'s personal services/communications/identity management business?
Yahoo! is putting on a great game face in the aftermath of Ms. Bartz' firing. But it's hard to imagine that it will be able to reinvent itself quickly enough to satisfy shareholders; that kind of innovation's just not in the organization's DNA anymore. I'm looking forward to seeing which companies are enterprising enough to see the value in Yahoo!'s identity management and personal services business.
Who else do you think might go nosing about for Yahoo's identity assets? Comcast? AT&T? Baidu? Samsung? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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