Archive for March, 2007

I am not a fan of non-technologists running technology companies.
 
The reason is, of course,  that technology companies produce technological products. 
 
To do that, you have to have technological vision:  Based on a roll-up-your-sleeves knowledge of development, a great technologist/CEO is always asking the question, "how can we use technology to create a compelling solution in this area of need?"
 
If you think I’m crazy, just ask Apple or HP what life was like without a technologist at the top spot.
 

It’s also one of the things I believe has been out-of-whack at Yahoo.

 
Problem is, a lot of people are promoting the idea that Susan Decker, Yahoo’s very capable CFO, is being groomed to take over Terry Semel’s position.
 
I believe this would just continue the, well, out-of-whackness.
 
Sure, they’ll get over their advertising funk they’re in now… but can Susan Decker create a pipeline of technologically compelling products/solutions?
 
She’s not a technologist so, sadly, I don’t think she could do this.  It’s not what she thinks about constantly.  It’s not second nature to her.  It’s not her… like it wasn’t Terry.
 
I’m using the word "sadly" because by all accounts she’s a very capable professional.  So much so that Warren Buffett just put her on the board at Berkshire Hathaway (sitting right next to Bill Gates!).
 
Now that’s impressive validation for her as a business exec.
 
Sadly, though, such validation will only cloud Yahoo’s future decision making:  She’s not a technologist and shouldn’t be running a technology company.
Again, just ask Apple and HP.
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