CARLSBAD, Calif. – The appearance of Yahoo’s Jerry Yang and Sue Decker had to be the most anticipated session of the D conference. The room was standing room only. If you’d like to know every little thing they said in their interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, read the liveblog John Battelle wrote from the chair next to me.
For my part, I can’t imagine what the audience took away from this chat. Yang and Decker said next to nothing of value, from a news or any other perspective. They were willing to do a deal with Microsoft. Truly (Yang acknowledged that talks with Microsoft continue.) They’re working on lots of new products. Really. They’re the right people to run Yahoo. Honestly. Yahoo is uniquely positioned as a search and display advertising company. Absolutely.
Yang and Decker insist that the media’s focus has been trained too much on the battle with Microsoft
and too little on Yahoo’s (YHOO) strategy, yet they’re not much better than ex-CEO Terry Semel was at articulating that strategy. Mossberg asked, rather long-windedly, what is Yahoo? Yang said Yahoo has to be “incredibly relevant and meaningful to users.” Decker talked, again, about how Yahoo wants to be a “starting point.”
So where is Yahoo going? Alas, it’s hard to say.