According to The Wall Street Journal, "Among candidates still under consideration is Carol Bartz, the former chief executive officer of Autodesk. a publicly traded company that builds design software used in engineering." But that is purely a guess.
The issue over who is chosen is not as important as what the person does in the first few months. Perhaps the primary goal would be to keep key executives from walking out the door. Because no one has articulated what the internet portal's long-term plans are there is little reason for people who can get other jobs to stay.
The first option for the company might be to sell its search business to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). Redmond may no longer be interested, and Yahoo! would be giving up its one strategic asset--that it is No. 2 in search behind Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). Without that, it is just another website.
Another alternative is to merge with AOL, a Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) division. But, with the value of both companies pushed down by a recession fixing a price for the value of AOL might be impossible. The integration of the companies would be risky and could take more than a year..
The one frontier for search which is still wide open is the mobile business. While market share on the PC may be relatively fixed, that is not true in terms of people who use handsets. And, about one billion handsets are sold worldwide each year.
The game is not over for Yahoo! yet, but it has to find a market to chase. Mobile may be the only large on left.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 247wallst.com.