In early 2000, Yahoo Inc. stood at the internet’s pinnacle, commanding the world’s most trafficked website and a $125 billion market value. Around that time, an upstart called Google was emerging as a destination for search.
Today, Google parent Alphabet Inc. is the world’s second most valuable company with a market value of $516 billion and a profit last year of $16.35 billion. Yahoo, which posted a $4.36 billion loss last year, agreed to be acquired by Verizon Communications Inc. on Monday for $4.8 billion.
A number of factors led to their diverging fates, but at the core of Google’s triumph over Yahoo has been a consistent management team that focused relentlessly on technology serving its massive online-advertising business. Yahoo, by contrast, vacillated across six chief executives who often emphasized content over the technology itself, leading to a blur of business models.