Rajiv Dutta a possible Yahoo! CEO candidate?

As most are aware, Yahoo! (YHOO) has retained an executive search firm to hire a new CEO after Jerry Yang announced they were seeking his successor. Among the names bandied about are former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller. Even former eBay top executive Jeff Jordan (now CEO of OpenTable) has gotten some attention in this discussion.

A forgotten name not being widely mentioned (anywhere I’ve read) is Rajiv Dutta, who was long rumored to be a possible successor to Whitman at eBay for the top job.  Everyone I’ve spoken to at eBay who worked for or with him says he is a spectacular executive. Some have speculated he lost the CEO job over concerns he wouldn’t ‘play well’ with the eBay user base despite his glowing credentials.

He has recently landed at the Drucker School and Drucker Institute as Distinguised Executive-in-Residence, which seems like a position from which he could be pried for the opportunity to lead one of the web’s great properties while attempting to prove to the eBay board of directors that they missed the opportunity to retain his leadership.

Note I have zero real inside information into eBay or Yahoo! inner political wrangling, but aren’t blogs meant to feed this type of speculation:)?

6 Responses to “Rajiv Dutta a possible Yahoo! CEO candidate?”

  1. Consignment Pal Resale Directory Says:

    “Some have speculated he lost the CEO job over concerns he wouldn’t ‘play well’ with the eBay user base despite his glowing credentials.”

    As an eBay user and third party service provider, I’ve heard Rajiv Dutta speak at a number of eBay Developers Conferences and eBay Live Conferences over the years. People LOVE Rajiv!!! He’s down to earth, funny, and personable. What’s not to love?

    His credentials speak for themselves.

  2. MikeEffle Says:

    I totally agree, which is why I find it odd his name hasn’t been mentioned in the Yahoo! CEO discussion.

  3. xebay Says:

    I’m an ex-eBay exec. who had a bit of contact with Rajiv directly, sat in many meetings with him, worked with many who knew him closely, etc.

    Rajiv is a smart, hard-driving, quantitative and strategy-oriented guy who went from a director of finance to almost getting the CEO job at eBay. No Harvard MBA, no top-tier consulting firm, just pure, unadulterated substance and drive. While his personal charm may leave something to be desired, I personally believe that Rajiv should have gotten the CEO job at eBay (and may yet, once the board figures out that Donahoe isn’t CEO material).

    If anyone could figure out what to do with Yahoo, Rajiv probably could.

  4. xebay Says:

    … and by the way, had Rajiv been given one more year, he would have gotten the CEO job at eBay instead of Donahoe IMHO…

  5. MikeEffle Says:

    Thanks for the comment xebay. Your thoughts are consistent with what I’ve heard from others who also have direct experience working with him. 2008 was definitely a difficult year for many, with eBay suffering disproportionately given their marketplace changes. The open question to be answered is the long term positive or negative impact of the changes to the eBay Marketplace. May 2009 be better for all!

  6. Shue Says:

    Excellent article. Being ?real? and passionate are very important. Readers can tell when the writer cares about the subject at hand. Thank you.