Yahoo CEO Search Narrows

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day @digiday.

Yahoo CEO Search Heats Up: All Things D says Yahoo has narrowed down its CEO search to four or five big names, including Google business lead Nikesh Arora, former Microsoft executives Brian McAndrews and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. While Kilar would be absolutely perfect (he’s smart, likeable, dynamic, and as we’ve seen from his memos to his network partners, he’s not afraid to shake up old thinking), it’s hard to imagine him leaving Hulu to run Yahoo. Hulu may be a tough place to work given its joint venture nature, it’s far more functional than Yahoo. While we’ve rallied for a while that outgoing CEO Carol Bartz should be replaced with a media executive (since Yahoo should operate as  a media company) among the other more realistic candidates, McAndrews makes the most sense. His background — he was the head of aQuantive and was an ABC exec for a decade — brings just the right blend of agency thinking, media-business savvy tech prowess, that Yahoo needs. McAndrews surely understands that Yahoo isn’t going to become a search technology or engineering hotbed anytime soon, and shouldn’t try. All Things D — Mike Shields @digitalshieldsThe AOL Agonistes: AOL is having one tough time. CEO Tim Armstrong’s turnaround strategy has more than its fair share of doubters. Add in an activist fund that’s taking aim at AOL’s direction. According to Starboard, which owns about 4.5 percent of AOL, the company’s crown jewel of media assets collectively loses $500 million a year. Starboard believes the market is valuing AOL’s media business effectively at zero. That’s stunning, if true. AOL isn’t perfect, but it’s still a large, respected player in the ad world. The idea that it’s fallen that far is amazing. Wall Street Journal — Brian Morrissey @bmorrisseyThe Problem with Social TV: Marketers are talking up the potential of social TV, aided by the growth of apps such as IntoNow, Shazam, and GetGlue. But one glaring issue is being overlooked, and that’s the emergence of time-shifted and on-demand viewing. Most of those apps are designed to be used as a show airs, but its unclear what value they can add to both consumers and content creators as users continue consume less live TV content. AllThingsD — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall

Swedish Show and Tell: It sounds like the fantasy of a geek who lives primarily in a pixelated universe: being placed in charge of the Twitter account of an entire country. Those super-hip Swedes at give one random Swedish citizen a chance to Tweet in the name of all Swedes for a week through the @sweden Twitter address in a social engagement project that has been called “an insane breach of branding principles.” Breach, yes, insane no. Sweden, like most brands, retailers and smart marketers know that you don’t really need an 80-person big data firm to connect with your audience. You can connect, using common-sense, right where they are, in social. Sweden is using the much-lauded Voluntaire agency which states that “no one is waiting for an advertising campaign” and “companies no longer have the power to control their brands.” For Voluntaire, and the @sweden campaign, branding has become about real-time interactions, not just target audiences derived from algorithms of varied quality. The big data industry, with all of its pomp and circumstance, ought to take a few cues from Sweden and focus on creating crowdsourced innovations, not just audience segments for banner ads. Brandchannel — Carla Rover @carlarover

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Caution! Bubble Deflation in Progress: Fear that tech startups might be riding a new bubble, ala 1990s, may have been allayed this week by a number of stories. Oracle, not a newcomer to the space, is nevertheless getting hammered on Wall Street because of quarterly earnings that have fallen short of projections. Also feeling the tech pinch are TripAdvisor, which took a hit on its first day of trading after being spun off from, and even elder statesmen like IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell. According to at least one analyst Oracle is a bellwether for IT stocks and its precipitous drop bodes badly for the entire sector. All Things D – TripAdvisor and All Things D — Oracle — Anne Sherber @annesherber
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