Here's the Yahoo! Search response to the "controversy" created yesterday by the Bloomberg article in which Yahoo! CFO Susan Decker seemed to be saying Yahoo! was perfectly happy being No. 2 (to Google) in search:
[W]e thought it made sense to briefly recap how focused we are in search and our passion to be the world's leading search engine…
We're continuously innovating and finding new ways to help people connect to information and knowledge—part of our vision to help them find, use, share and expand all human knowledge. We're working on literally hundreds of projects to improve search, and some of the most visible examples include My Web, Yahoo! Answers, and Open Shortcuts. We have also brought in some of the most innovative companies like Flickr and del.icio.us, to help bring the promise of social search and tagging to the rest of the world and advancing search beyond what it is today.
Finally, we've turned Yahoo! Search into an open platform for innovative third-party developers—we've built the most comprehensive set of Web Services, allowing a new generation of applications to be built such as Rollyo and Eurekster and many others.
There were lots of responses "across the dial" yesterday from surprise to dismay to "those clever devils" (thinking she was trying to lower Wall Street expectations).
Clearly Yahoo! has done and is doing lots of innovative things, including in search. This response and all the reaction that flared from the article makes me wonder whether the remark was calculated or casual/off the cuff.
As someone who talks to reporters now with some regularity, my experience is that it's very easy for remarks to be taken out of context or for things to be misquoted (this happens a high percentage of the time).
However, the reporter on the story, Jonathan Thaw, is a quite good and thoughtful writer from my perspective so it's probably not a misquote. Regardless, the subsquent Yahoo! Search Blog response clarifies that Yahoo! doesn't want to be seen as "giving up" in any way.
More from the SEW blog.