Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sue Decker's Next Move

Remember Sue Decker? She was formerly the next CEO of Yahoo! (YHOO). That was until a tough 18 months following Terry Semel's abrupt departure after shareholders voted against his re-election in large numbers at the 2007 annual meeting.

Decker came to Yahoo! from DLJ, as the Internet analyst who used to throw tough questions at Tim Koogle and Jerry Yang. She took over as CFO and, by all accounts, did a great job in that role.

When she got promoted to president, the problems started. She's very bright, but seemed to not grasp the technology as well as she might have and didn't manage the business as well as was required. She left under a cloud a few months ago when Carol Bartz was given the top job.

She's taken on a number of directorships over the years: Intel (INTC), Costco (COST) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A). She'll be in Omaha this weekend for that annual fiesta. She got on to the Berkshire board, after serving with Charlie Munger on the Costco board and getting to know him.

She's serving time in the penalty box now after her Yahoo! experience, but there's no question she'll be back at a firm soon. However, I believe (and stated so after her departure from Yahoo!) that she's more likely to end up in a financial role (or financial firm) next than a tech firm.

I think Berkshire would be a good fit for her -- not to take over for Warren, but for an important senior role. Omaha's a little different from NYC or the Bay Area but I think she would love the opportunity to be part of the Berkshire team and prove to the world how good she is. I expect some kind of announcement in the next six months.

Position: None.

Originally published in on 5/1/2009 4:39 PM EDT

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