Uncommon Wisdom

Jan 15 2009   1:03AM GMT

Online developments at AOL and Yahoo

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Big news in the online game: AOL is creating a new division and Yahoo has finally found a new CEO. The AOL move creates MediaGlow, which is formed of two groups—Platform A for advertising and People Networks focused on social media. Yahoo has selected Carol Bartz, formerly of Autodesk, in a move that has some analysts concerned about lack of online and search experience and that has apparently prompted Susan Decker to depart Yahoo.

Both companies had little choice but to do something, and the outcome is far from certain in both cases. AOL’s People Networks may be its best hope, and Bartz will have to quickly come to terms with the Microsoft search sell-off opportunity, which Balmer has indicated won’t be on the table forever. We think Yahoo may be thinking of a more software-intensive position in the future.

Google, meanwhile, may be in for a surprisingly strong Q4 according to one research firm, who says its ads rose 58% in the quarter.

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