Note to Yahoo’s Bartz: Ma company, Ma way

March 13, 2009

 Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has earned a reputation as a strong-willed, no-nonsense executive.

But she may have her met match in Jack Ma, the founder and CEO of Alibaba, which owns and operates Yahoo China.

 “Personally I have a management philosophy: when you see someone in the kitchen, don’t give them directions. Let them do it,” Ma told Reuters during a visit to New York on Thursday. “I do it my own way. I don’t listen to Yahoo.”

 Ma doesn’t need to listen to Yahoo. As part of a 2005 deal, Yahoo has a 40% stake in Alibaba.com, but Yahoo China is Ma’s baby.

 When it comes to Yahoo China, Ma says, Yahoo is just a shareholder.

 Ma paid a visit to his largest shareholder and met with Bartz during this trip to the U.S., though he would not say what they discussed.

 Could Bartz be considering a new strategy in China, and a sale of its stake in Alibaba, as some have speculated?

 “If they stay, good. If they leave, great. That’s how we do business,” Ma said.

 Alibaba acquired exclusive ownership of the Yahoo brand in China through the 2005 deal. The question is: who gets to use the brand in China if the two part ways?

13 comments

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What an arrogant pr!ck. A taste of capitalism, and off they go…

Posted by JR | Report as abusive

pretty sad that china is more becomming more capitalist than the USA

Posted by dane | Report as abusive

Responding to JR…

How is he an arrogant prick? I see Yahoo as being the arrogant prick expecting to tell the man how he should run his company. But hey what do we expect, that is the American way, Telling the world what to do…

Posted by NM | Report as abusive

What a ridiculous thing for JR to say, as if Yahoo didn’t know it wouldn’t have control with a 40% stake. Is Yahoo stupid, or is JR unrealistic? As for “A taste of capitalism, and off they go.” What does he want the Chinese to do, stay communist? Now wouldn’t that be stupid?

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

I love Chine. Lets party together!

Posted by Dr. Funkenstein | Report as abusive

Jerry Yang, the co-founder and CEO of Yahoo, was kidded out by his investors because Yang didn’t want his company to be bought by Microsoft. In my ignorant opinion screw the investors and take care of your company as you see fit. It should all be part of the risks in investing.

Posted by Liver | Report as abusive

Dear Yahoo CEO Bartz,
This is the last time we’re gonna tell you. You can make one suggestion from column A, and two suggestions from column B, and that’s IT.
Regards,
Ma
Yahoo Alibaba (China)

Posted by RenoMike | Report as abusive

It is sad to watch how the internet and World Wide Web have ethically deteriorated as the originaters, the prime movers and the pioneers and early adopters have been swamped, outspent, bought out and replaced by mass marketers and creepy capitalists who inevitably sacrifice content and decency to the needs of politics, government control and the bottom line.
Once the internet was a virtual refuge from thoughtless and numbing government interference. Now it has become the creature of government spy agencies and social control,(as in China).
I can see a day approaching when the internet will be remembered as just another “CB radio” flash in the pan.
People will say: If you want real privacy, send a letter by snail mail.

Alibaba is a thief, it’s global marketplace is full of con artists who took millions of innocent business people.

Ma should put to justice as he is the head of this global thuggish company.

Posted by al | Report as abusive

Liver, did you just say investors (AKA shareholders, AKA owners), should bend over and let CEOs act in their own best interest, and not the best interest of the shareholders?

Posted by Josh | Report as abusive

Well, if you are confident that you are running your company well, that you are well capitalised and making money happily, then certainly you can have the right to tell your backseat drivers to shut up..

Most CEOs who don’t have this swagger is because they have screwed up some way or another and are begging shareholders for better compensation or more investment or some other way to con shareholders out of their money

Posted by Kang | Report as abusive

Carol Bartz probably thought with her “no-nonsense”, strong willed character that this alone could drive through mount Everest.. that her own definitions of strong will intimidate everyone else into believing her bluff. Play a man’s game, now it is your turn. You force someone from position. Be a Jerry ma, and step down without talking, Yahoo is in the drain. Rumor? Go ahead and sell, I am sure Ma would be happy enough to see if such a fearsome strong willed and no-nonsense person is merely face value or heart value. At times strong willed and no-nonsense could be disillusionment and nrealistic in reality. But some could see this as their strength instead of weakness. kind of like patriotism

Ebay doesn’t scam? Stanford doesn’t? GM doesn’t need tax money? Banks doesn’t scam? Whats your point? All governance the same, as soon as you see this, you will see that these articles are merely attempting to play real politik. Pitting little people against little people, like both countries doesn’t have their own problems, like little people need more trampling. You think these big bosses care about anything other than acquiring sympathy and vilification of their enemies. You see JR/whoever come with that line and everything is absorbed into consciousness instead of passing/ignoring the gas.

whoever wins in business is not up to people but is up to something bigger than themselves. no matter how strong you think of yourself, you are only strong in your environment, when you out of familiarity, simple the kitchen quote is a good advice, whether one takes criticism as truth from friend or feels disrespected is up to one’s own egocentric definitions.

Strong willed? No-nonsense? just the opposite.

Posted by abel | Report as abusive

Let the Chinese run their business in China. The rate US is selling bonds (to bail out their banks/car manufacturers), China may own corporate American soon.

Posted by BlowFish | Report as abusive

[...] Jack Ma believed Alibaba Group has the right to decide Yahoo China’s destiny and insisted that Yahoo is only [...]