In the News, Reviews

“Frickin’ Google” – Did Yahoo’s Bartz Have a Reason to Get Mad?

During Tuesday’s Yahoo! press conference announcing the launch of a $100+ million brand campaign, Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo got fired up following a reporter’s question that led to flurry of frustration that rang through Silicon Valley – and beyond – comparing Google and Yahoo.

Below are some of Bartz’s highlights captured by the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I just want to transplant all you guys out of this sort of cynicism you’re in. I mean, why are you cynical about us? Be cynical about frickin’ Google. Leave us alone.”

“If you don’t like us, just leave us alone, we’ll just deal with our users, because you know what? We do great things for them and we’re excited about what we are.”

Sure there’s added pressure when you’re under the lime light, but was Bartz’s reaction a result of the constant battering or did the press deserve a reality check?

Since Bartz took over the top job at Yahoo!, she’s had the attention of friends and foes to see how she would fair. We decided to do our own digging, turning to the people who know best about Yahoo and Google – the employees.  After analyzing company and CEO approval ratings at Google and Yahoo! over the last year, here’s what we found:

Bottom line, Yahoo! employee sentiment about the company has improved since Bartz took over the helm while their chief rival has seen some footing shift.   Here are a few highlights from the Glassdoor analytics team:

  • After nearly nine months in the job, Carol Bartz quickly surpassed her predecessor Jerry Yang in terms of approval rating.  Bartz’s approval rating is 55% (disapproval 10%) whereas at his departure, Yang was 34%  (45% disapproval)
  • Although Eric Schmidt has a high cumulative CEO approval rating of 87% (2% disapproval), his trailing 30-day average has declined slightly in recent months but still well ahead of Bartz’s rating.

    CEO Approval Ratings Comparison

  • While Google still rates higher than Yahoo! in terms of overall company satisfaction rating (4.0 versus 3.2 at publish date/time), the trailing 30-day average  converged about a month ago as Yahoo ratings rose and Google lowered; Looking at these trailing averages, both companies are now  in the neutral to satisfied rating category (3.0 to 3.5).

Google and Yahoo Company Ratings

Here are a few quotes from recent employee reviews of both Google and Yahoo to give some more insight:


“Yahoo! is often spoken of in the shadow of Google – even though Yahoo! is a prime Internet portal. Also, management is not always transparent, for e.g., with the recent Microsoft-yahoo deal.” – Yahoo Senior Software Engineer

“Things have been so muddled for so long that it will take 2-3 years to cut away the fat to get to where yahoo needs to be in terms of systems, operations, product development, and processes.” – Yahoo Ad Operations Manager

“Jerry and Sue were the wrong people to lead the company. That’s fixed now, and friends there seem much more optimistic.” – Yahoo Vice President

“People do not appreciate the great undertaking of maintaining one of the biggest websites on the planet and yet still keep innovating.” – Yahoo Anonymous


“Google is a big company that provides a comfy job but none of the burning desire to go that extra mile because they aren’t making the effort to take you with them.” – Google Senior Engineer

“Google has a tremendous brand equity, incredibly brilliant colleagues, and it has a culture that truly fosters innovation.” – Google Senior Analyst

“The company is getting really big. Products and infrastructures are huge now. Launching new products is getting really hard. Persuading people to go for a new idea can be an endless round of futile meetings.” – Google Product Manager

“Google is a large corporation, and that is starting to show more and more due to the economy.” – Google Account Manager

Do you think Bartz’s reaction was warranted or will Yahoo always be ripe for press scrutiny? Tell us what you think.