Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Yahoo cedes search game to Google, for now

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(Updated with more quotes)

If you’re losing the game, time to change the playing field. Yahoo is counting on exactly that.

Ari Balogh, Yahoo’s chief technology officer and product development czar, would be among the first to admit that Google reigns supreme in the search space.

“Search the way we know it, with 10 blue links, Google has clearly won that game. Saying anything other than that is just not stating the fact,” he told the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

But Balogh says that doesn’t mean Yahoo is giving up. Inviting comparisons to the automobile industry, now infamous for bankruptcy, ballooning debt and clunky design, Balogh says innovation in search is only just beginning, and it’s too early to declare a winner yet. Ford and its Model T was once the pre-eminent mass-consumer vehicle, but today the once mighty Detroit giant — the only one of the surviving Big Three that doesn’t appear to be flirting with corporate failure — has to fend off the likes of Toyota and Hyundai.

Q&A with WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell

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Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group Plc, was interviewed as part of the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit held this week around the globe. He talked to Reuters reporter Kate Holton in London, with groups of reporters calling in from Paris and New York to ask questions. Here are extended excerpts from a longer interview:  

SOFTER 2009; REBOUND IN 2010

Reuters: How is the U.S. advertising market holding up in light of the credit crunch and housing crisis?

Silicon Valley execs self-absorbed (and thats not all bad)

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With the white noise of MicroHoo ringing in everyone ears, we asked Adobe SystemsShantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer of Adobe Systems Inc., speaks during the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecom Summit in New York CEO Shantanu Narayen why he thinks “royal weddings” — idylic mergers between multi-billion dollar companies — in Silicon Valley are few and far between.

You know, because, giant Deathstars are better for everybody, right?

The answer: Even though some merger adviser is probably ringing to talk about “strategic alternatives” (we suppose), Silicon Valley entrepreneur-types are, like, you know, obsessed with minding their own beeswax.

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