Executive search firm Spencer Stuart, hired by Yahoo to find its next chief executive, has put out a casting call to the world via its Web site. And applying is just a click away.
"We've had scores, if not hundreds, of approaches and inquiries through Spencerstuart.com," said Managing Director Jim Citrin. "Knowing the strong degree of interest in this position and all the public attention it's received, we put it front and center on the home page for anyone to interact with."
More than 20,000 CEO wanna-bes have looked at the job description, but only 50 have submitted their resumes with the belief that they have the right stuff. According to the job description posted on the site, "The ideal candidate will be a smart, creative, passionate, flexible and experienced senior executive who has a successful track record growing a diversified global business with at least $1 billion in revenues, who can work closely with the current management team, including chairman and current Chief Executive Officer Tim Koogle."
Yahoo has been searching for a CEO since earlier this month, when Koogle announced he would give up the post but remain chairman.
Out of the Spencer Stuart slush pile, five potentially viable candidates have emerged to date, Citrin said. They include a division president of one of the world's largest media and entertainment companies, a chief e-commerce officer at a top 10 Fortune 500 company, and a chief technology officer from one of the largest global brick-and-mortar consumer products companies.
"These are guys who we may not have necessarily gone after in our methodical sourcing approach, which is tried and true. And we're not saying that we'll definitely find someone through our Web site, but it's definitely broadening the net we cast," Citrin said.
One fish to take the bait came from surprising waters.
"We have a CEO of a major international marketing and advertising company who is interested. My international colleagues know him by reputation, and normally we would never considering approaching him because....he always appears on those lists of the most wealthiest," Citrin said.
A number of middle managers also applied, noting that while they weren't qualified for the Yahoo job, they want to be considered for executive positions at Yahoo after the new CEO is selected, Citrin said.
And, of course, there was the absurd.
One prospective candidate enclosed this note: ?Although I?m not an experienced executive, I plan to move out of my mom?s house soon and anticipate that this will lead to a variety of new experiences.?
Yahoo is among the first 10 companies to post an executive opening on Spencer Stuart's Web site. The feature debuted in February as part of a redesign and the launch of a talent network recruiting service.
The recruiting service can reduce a search process to three to four weeks from three to four months, Citrin said.
Yahoo has been struggling with sagging revenues as advertisers have tightened up their purse strings. Yahoo, which reports its first quarter results April 11, has warned its revenues would fall to around $180 million from earlier forecasts of $232 million. The company now expects to break even, rather than post a profit of 5 cents a share.