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谁能挽救科技公司?

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小编摘要:许多科技公司的首席执行官都在努力使自己的公司扭亏为盈。其中谁的工作最艰难?

Yahoo

CEO: Carol Bartz

The Rise: If you remember the "Yahoo yodel," you'll probably also remember a time when the Internet giant was synonymous with search. Founded in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo, Yahoo rose to great heights thanks to effective search, email, and media services, netting a lofty stock price of $118.75 a share circa January 2000 -- the company's all-time high -- to prove it.

The Fall: After the dot-com bubble burst, Yahoo fell on hard times. Its once stratospheric stock hit a low of $4.05 in 2002, and the company eventually ceded its edge in search, email, and overall online traffic. As a result, the company laid off a chunk of its workforce -- more than 600 over the last three years or so -- as part of restructuring efforts.

As for management, CEOs have come and gone, including co-founder Yang. Yahoo's current CEO, Carol Bartz, was most recently selected to head up its turnaround efforts. Though she's brought in fresh talent like Microsoft exec Blake Irving to head product development, the company has also seen numerous high-profile employees depart.

The Plan: Streamline the company's resources, and shed areas no longer considered relevant to its core business, which includes outsourcing search to Microsoft, Yahoo Shopping to PriceGrabber and Yahoo Search to Microsoft. In exchange, Bartz is intent on expanding the company's editorial operations with the $100 million purchase of Associated Content and more recently, the launch of Livestand, a digital newsstand for tablets intended to compete against the recently-launched iPad-exclusive newspaper, the Daily.

The Challenge: Keeping Yahoo relevant in an age where Google and Facebook rule the Web will require constant innovation to at least keep pace, if not catch up.

MySpace

CEO: Mike Jones

The Rise: Flash back to July 2006, and MySpace was the most-visited Web site in the U.S., raking in 4.5% of all Internet traffic. Even more than Friendster, the social network founded by Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson in January 2004 blurred the lines between online social interaction and the real world. And by 2005, the social network had become so righteously hip, even Rupert Murdoch wanted in, so News Corp. scooped up MySpace's parent company Intermix Media for a cool $580 million.

The Fall: If ever there was an under performer, it would be MySpace. Despite a recent (and radical) redesign positioning it as a niche entertainment, it's failed to change its fortunes so far. According to Compete, web site traffic declined more than 27%, from 77 million to 47 million visits during 2010, and News Corp.'s digital division, which includes MySpace, posted a revenue decline for its fiscal second quarter of 29%, while operating loss grew to $156 million from $125 million the same time a year ago. To add insult to injury, 500 employees got pink slips in January.

The Plan: News Corp. has publicly stated that MySpace has performed below expectations. As a result, it has reportedly hired Allen & Co., a media investment banking firm, to explore options like a possible sale.

The Challenge: Though parties like mobile social network MocoSpace are apparently interested in buying the once-social network, the question becomes less whether anyone will buy MySpace, but can its current management do anything to effectively halt its decline and prove its worth what ever devalued amount it ultimately ends fetching.

AOL

CEO: Tim Armstrong

The Rise: Originally founded in 1983 as Control Video Corporation, the Web 1.0 company would eventually become the most popular online portal of its kind with more than 30 million subscribers in the 1990s. AOL also helped popularize email as a new media medium with the ubiquitous slogan, "You've got mail." Then in 2000, AOL bought Time Warner (FORTUNE's parent company) for $164 billion, bringing its total valuation to an all-time high of $240 billion.

The Fall: Like any failed relationship, the merger would end badly for both parties. Nine years later, AOL was spun off with a value of just $2.5 billion. Its subscriber base hasn't grown since 2002, and last year, the company reported $2.4 billion in revenues, a 25% drop, and a net loss of $782.5 million against net profit of $248 million. Meanwhile, its total share of online display advertising fell to 5.3% in 2010 from 6.8% in 2009. Current CEO Tim Armstrong recently cautioned that positive results won't come in until the second half of 2011 at earliest.

The Plan: Become a go-to news organization. To that end, Armstrong and crew have gone nuts with acquisitions. In June 2009, the company bought hyper local newspaper startup Patch; last September, it picked up the popular tech blog TechCrunch for roughly $40 million. And just last week, the company snapped up The Huffington Post for $315 million, the largest purchase yet during Armstrong's tenure.

The Challenge: While AOL's recent shopping spree should help beef up the company's presence moving forward, it remains to be seen whether all that traffic growth will outweigh the number of long-time subscribers signing off of the company's dying dial-up service in the long term and grow the company from its current market cap of $2.3 billion and 117 million unique visitors per month.

Nokia

CEO: Stephen Elop

The Rise: Though the Finnish phonemaker's roots arguably trace back as far as the early 20th century, when it dealt mainly in rubber products, Nokia as consumers know it today didn't really hit its stride until the early 1990s, when it gradually sold off its rubber, cable and consumer tech divisions and focused exclusively on mobile telecomm. Once it did, the company took off -- by 1998, Nokia was the world's largest mobile manufacturer.

The Fall: While it's still technically the largest mobile phone manufacturer with a 31% market share as of fourth quarter 2010, that market share has been on the decline, due in no small part to the introduction of the iPhone and Android devices sporting operating systems with better user interfaces than the company's own (creaky) Symbian OS and the stalled high-end MeeGo platform, a merger of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo projects, which has yet to find its way into many devices.

The Plan: Use Microsoft's recently-introduced Windows Phone 7 operating system as the primary platform for Nokia devices moving forward. According to company CEO Stephen Elop, recruited from Microsoft as the company's first non-Finnish CEO, WP7-loaded phones could find their way to market later this year.

The Challenge: Competing with entrenched champs like iOS and Android, not to mention getting consumers, particularly in the U.S., excited about a company that hasn't had a hit product in years using a fledgling OS that still lacks basic features like copy/paste and true multitasking.

Digg

CEO: Matt Williams

The Rise: Kevin Rose kickstarted Digg in 2004, and in less than two years, it was one of the most popular hubs for teens and young adults to crawl and discover news links. One of Digg's features proved to be its reason d'etre: users could vote up, or "digg," or vote down, (read: "bury") news links, which could potentially bring it to Digg's front page for utmost exposure or render it irrelevant. At its best, Digg.com brought in more than 236 million visitors a year.

The Fall: In August 2010, the content curation site rolled out a controversial site redesign called v4, or "Version 4," that initially gave more power to news publishers and took away user features like the "bury" button and "Favorites" and reduced the number of news categories. The backlash was swift. Visitor traffic plummeted 30% within 30 days of the redesign, while competitor Reddit saw its own traffic explode, likely due in no small part to disgruntled Digg defectors. The downward traffic spiral also likely contributed to the company's most recently round of layoffs: 25 employees, or roughly 37% of its staff, last October.

The Plan: Swap out interim CEO Rose, who replaced one-time leader Jay Adelson, with 11-year Amazon vet Matt Williams. Also, rectify some of v4's most grievous issues by returning some of the aforementioned Digg feature to users.

The Challenge: Revive Digg's fortunes by tweaking v4 to a point where current Digg users will be happy and persuade Reddit defectors to give Digg another look, a major challenge in the notoriously fickle consumer market. There's also the issue of money. With some $40 million in funding from investors like Greylock Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Marc Andreesen, Digg is still not turning a profit.


雅虎

首席执行官:卡萝. 巴茨

兴起:如果你还记得“雅虎约得尔唱法挑战赛”(约得尔唱法是指一种真假声迅速互换的唱法——译注)的话,你可能也会记得,曾几何时,雅虎这家互联网巨头一度是搜索技术的代名词。雅虎是1994年由杨致远(Jerry Yang)和大卫?费罗(David Filo)共同创立的,由于其出色的搜索、电子邮件和媒体服务,雅虎一时炙手可热,在2000年1月左右,它的股价达到了每股118.5美元,这也是该公司创立以来的最高纪录。

衰落:在互联网泡沫破灭后,雅虎陷入了极为艰难的处境。它的股价于2002年跌至谷底,仅为每股4.05美元。而且雅虎最终失去了它在搜索、邮件和总体在线访问量等方面的优势。因此,雅虎不得不大幅裁员。在过去三年左右的时间里,为了进行重组,雅虎已经裁掉了600多名员工。

在管理方面,雅虎已经换了一任又一任的首席执行官,其中包括共同创始人杨致远。雅虎最近任命了卡萝?巴茨作为首席官,以带领公司扭转局面。她为雅虎带来了一些新鲜血液,比如引入了微软高管布莱克?欧文来负责产品研发。尽管如此,公司的许多杰出员工还是流失了。

计划:雅虎正在合理规划公司资源、摒弃与核心业务无关的业务领域,例如雅虎计划将搜索业务外包给微软,将雅虎购物(Yahoo Shopping)外包给PriceGrabber公司。另一方面,巴茨打算扩展雅虎的编辑业务,为此该公司斥资1亿美元收购了Associated Content公司,而且最近还推出了一款名叫Livestand的电子阅读平台,Livestand主要针对平板电脑,旨在与最近发布的一份完全基于iPad的电子报纸《日报》(The Daily)进行竞争。

挑战:在谷歌和Facebook主宰互联网的今天,雅虎要想有所作为,就必须不断进行创新,就算不能迎头赶上,至少也要跟上步伐。

MySpace

首席执行官:麦克. 琼斯

兴起:在2006年7月,MySpace还是美国访问量最高的网站,它的访问量达到所有网站访问量的4.5%。它不仅仅是一个交友网站,更是一个社交网络。它是2004年1月由克里斯?德沃尔夫和汤姆?安德森创立的,它打破了在线社交互动和真实世界之间的界线。到了2005年,这个网站已经极为流行,就连传媒大亨鲁伯特?默多克都为之心动。于是新闻集团(News Corp.)斥资5.8亿美元收购了MySpace的母公司Intermix Media。

衰落:如果说有哪家公司的表现令人失望,那么它肯定非MySpace莫属了。尽管最近MySpace进行了一番彻底的重新设计,将自己定位成一家小众娱乐网站,可是到目前为止,MySpace仍然未能扭转颓势。根据Compete公司的数据,2010年MySapce的网站访问量从7700万下跌到了4700万,跌幅超过27%。而新闻集团第二财季的数字业务(包括MySpace)的营业收入也下跌了29%,同时其营业损失也由前一年同期的1.25亿美元增加到1.56亿美元。雪上加霜的是,今年1月,MySpace有500名员工黯然下岗。

计划:新闻集团已经公开指出MySace的表现差于预期。据报道,新闻集团已经雇佣了媒体业投资银行Allen & Co.,公司,来研究处理MySpace的种种办法——比如将它卖出去。

挑战:虽然已经有些公司已经明确表示有兴趣收购MySpace(比如移动社交网站MocoSpace),不过目前最大的问题并不在于有没有人愿意接手MySpace,而是在于MySpace目前的管理层是否能够有效阻止公司业绩的下滑,并且证明不管最终该公司以多少钱被卖出,它还是值得这笔钱的。

美国在线

首席执行官:蒂姆. 阿姆斯特朗

兴起:这家公司的前身是成立于1983年的控制视频公司(Control Video Corporation)。这家web 1.0公司在上世纪90年代成为了美国最受欢迎的在线门户网站,订阅用户达到3000余万人。美国在线也促进了电子邮件作为一种新媒介的推广,当时几乎到处都能看到美国在线的广告语——“您有新的邮件”(You've got mail)。2000年,美国在线以1640亿美元的天价收购了时代华纳公司(Time Warner,《财富》杂志的母公司),使它的总市值达到有史以来最高的2400亿美元。

衰落:9年后,MySpace与时代华纳的联姻走到了尽头。像任何失败的婚姻一样,这次分手对双方都造成了严重的打击。美国在线与时代华纳剥离后,其市值仅剩25亿美元。自从2002年以来,它的订阅用户人数就没有再增长过。去年该公司报告了24亿美元的营业收入,比前年下跌了25%。2009年该公司的净利润为2.48亿美元,而去年该公司净亏损7.825亿美元。它在在线广告市场中所占的比重也由2009年的6.8%下跌到了2010年的5.3%。现任CEO蒂姆?阿姆斯特朗最近警告道,恐怕最早到2011年下半年之前,该公司都无法扭亏为盈。

计划:美国在线计划转型成一家新闻机构。为了这个目标,阿姆斯特朗和其他高管已经在疯狂地进行并购了。2009年6月,美国在线收购了从事超本地化新闻服务的初创公司Patch;去年9月又以4000万美元左右的价格收购了知名的科技博客TechCrunch。就在上周,美国在线又以3.15亿美元的价格收购了《赫芬顿邮报》(The Huffington Post),这也是阿姆斯特朗任期内最大的一笔收购。

挑战:最近的大肆收购应该有助于美国在线今后的发展,不过从长期看来,该公司的拨号上网服务气数已尽,那么美国在线的访问量的增长,究竟能否弥补大量老用户退订拨号上网服务带来的影响?另外,美国在线目前的市值为23亿美元,每月访问该网站的独立访客为1.17亿人,公司能否在这个基础上实现增长?这两个问题目前都还有待观察。

诺基亚

首席执行官:史蒂芬. 埃洛普

兴起:这家芬兰手机制造商的起源大概可以追溯到20世纪早期,当时它的主要业务是橡胶制品。直到上世纪90年代初,诺基亚才开始大规模进军手机市场。它逐步卖掉了旗下的橡胶、缆线和消费科技部门,开始完全专注于移动通讯技术。自此公司的业绩出现了腾飞——到1998年,诺基亚已经成了世界上最大的移动电话制造商。

衰落:严格说来,诺基亚目前仍然是世界上最大的移动电话制造商,其2010年第四季度的市场份额为31%。不过它的市场份额已经出现了缩水。这在很大程度上是由于iPhone和Android手机的出现挤占了诺基亚的份额。iPhone和Android手机的操作系统要优于诺基亚(老掉牙的)Symbian操作系统,而且用户界面也优于诺基亚;另一方面也是由于诺基亚的高端平台MeeGo的进展停滞不前。MeeGo是英特尔(Intel)的Moblin项目和诺基亚的Maemo项目的合体,不过诺基亚现在尚未将MeeGo植入多种设备。

计划:诺基亚计划利用微软最新推出的Windows Phone 7操作系统作为未来诺基亚设备的主要平台。诺基亚首席执行官史蒂芬?埃洛普表示,安装了Windows Phone 7系统的手机可能将于今年晚些时候上市。埃洛普是诺基亚公司历史上首位非芬兰藉的首席执行官。

挑战:要与iOS和Android等稳占鳌头的操作系统进行竞争就已非易事。更何况诺基亚已经有好几年没有推出任何一款热门产品,而且它现在的操作系统还不成熟,仍然缺乏一些基本的功能,比如复制/粘贴和多任务处理技术等。要让消费者——尤其是美国消费者对这样一家公司感到兴奋,实在是个极为艰巨的挑战。

Digg

首席执行官:马特. 威廉姆斯

兴起:凯文?罗斯在2004年创建了Digg,不到两年,它就成了大多数青少年和年轻人最喜欢的网站之一,他们很喜欢泡在Digg上发掘新闻链接。Digg之所以大受欢迎,和它的一个重要功能是分不开的——用户可以对新闻链接进行评选,将喜欢的新闻链接“顶”上去(或曰“挖掘”),这甚至可能会将一条新闻“顶”到Digg的首页上;另外他们也可以将不喜欢的链接“踩”下去(或曰“埋”)。在Digg最红火的时候,它的年访客数量甚至超过了2.36亿。

衰落:2010年8月,这家内容分享网站进行了一次颇有争议的重新设计,改版后的网站又称“第四版”,它给予了新闻发布商更多的权利,并且取消了“埋”和“收藏夹”等功能,并且减少了新闻类别的数量。此举立即引起了用户的反感。在不到30天的时间里,网站访问量暴跌30%,而Digg网站的竞争对手Reddit网站的访问量则出现激增,这在很大程度上可能就是由于用户对Digg心生不满,而转投了Reddit的怀抱。Digg公司在去年10月裁掉了25名员工(占员工总数的37%),这次裁员很可能就与网站访问量的下滑有关。

计划:自从前任首席执行官杰伊?安德尔森辞职后,公司创始人凯文?罗斯暂时接任首席执行官,后来公司聘用了曾在亚马逊公司服务11年的马特?威廉姆斯来代替罗斯接掌门户。此外公司也改正了第四版的一些严重问题,恢复了前面提到的一些功能。

挑战:必须继续对网站的第四版进行修改,使目前的Digg用户感到满意。此外Digg还需要吸引那些对Reddit感到不满的用户。对于变化无常的消费市场来说,这实在是个巨大的挑战。此外钱也是大问题。Digg从格雷洛克合伙公司(Greylock Partners)、高原资本(Highland Capital Partners)和网景创始人马克?安德森等投资人手里募集了约4000万美元的投资,但目前Digg仍未盈利。
标签:挽救 科技公司
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2011-02-18 10:56 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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