(if I was ever asked...)
Disclaimer: I work for Yahoo. You know that. I have no knowledge about the big plans for Yahoo. Thankfully they keep people like me in the dark. What I do know about, I won't comment on...
Well our friend Yahoo has been taking a beating lately. Everyone wants to dump on Yahoo. People are angry. Grrrrr. Should have sold to Microsoft when the offer was good. Shouldn't have sold out to Google. Jerry should go! The board should go. Some old coot is stirring things up. Executives are leaving left and right (no sense in staying, they're all under water.) Shareholders are pissed... Ya-booooooooo!
I have no control over what is happening. Although I've been at Yahoo for 6 years (took a year off), I have no influence nor authority over the decisions this company makes.
That said, if it were up to me. this is what I'd (still) do.
1. Shrink the yahoo domain to only the features that are used by people on a daily basis. Mail, IM, Search, News (including finance and sports), My Yahoo!, maps, calendar, and groups. Any new Yahoo! branded products or services must meet the criteria of an application that is or can be essential to a user's life on a daily basis.
2. Re-brand existing profitable services and spin them out. One of the biggest issues we deal with as a vertical property within the yahoo domain is the ability to compete effectively with our single brand competitors. Yahoo! Shopping was always gunning for Shopping.com, PriceGrabber, and Shopzilla, as well as Amazon and Ebay... all single purpose brands that have their own users and are not impinged by marketing constraints. There is no such thing as a Yahoo! Shopping or Yahoo! local user; they're all Yahoo users and we don't have the freedom to market to these users as consumers of an individual service. You can't "join" Yahoo! Travel. That's the fundamental problem.
So re-brand Yahoo Travel as "Farechase". Buy Yelp and fold in Yahoo! Local. Turn Yahoo! Music back into Launch. Make Hotjobs just Hotjobs instead of Yahoo! Hotjobs. Give these services more meaning and focus by removing the Yahoo! brand and allow them to act more autonomously as needed to compete. It's not difficult, nor is it unheard of. Flickr is doing wonderfully on its own and Google just launched Lively.com not as "Google Lively" but as Lively by Google. There's a huge difference. Trust me.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the Yahoo brand. I'm saying that the brand will become stronger if it is more focused. It will become more meaningful because it will offer essential digital life services without the noise.
3. Make Steve Jobs the CEO. Yes, I know that will never happen unless Apple buys the Y! (hah!), but that's the kind of person a company like Yahoo needs. You may think that's an easy decision, but it isn't in reality. We need a designer at the top. Someone who understands design and is ruthless about providing innovative, useful, essential, and elegant products. Yahoo needs a creative leader that uses the design process to drive business decisions. Engineering, sales, product management, business development, etc are nothing without design. Design is king and Yahoo needs a ruler that understands that. Kick the stuffed shirts with the pocket protectors out and put in someone that wears a black mock turtleneck.
That's it. Sure there's more (ad network, better monetization... etc). But let's keep it simple and let's concentrate on quality design and laser focus. There is a lot that Y! is doing at this moment that is easy to be excited about. Some of it has been announced such as BOSS and some hasn't. But from what I know about the roadmap, the key big bets can still be accomplished if Yahoo took the above approach.