Aol Mail

Aol exec: not clear Yahoo is admitting its problems

November 10, 2010: 12:12 PM ET

Former Yahoo exec turned Aol Consumer Apps President Brad Garlinghouse answers questions about the merger talks, the 'Peanut Butter Manifesto,' and why he thinks Yahoo is still doing it wrong.

Even four years later, Brad Garlinghouse may well best be remembered as the former Yahoo senior vice president who in 2006 shipped out a company-wide Jerry Maguire-esque memo that recognized Yahoo's (YHOO) achievements but chastised the company for lacking vision, accountability and decisiveness. The "Peanut Butter Manifesto," as it came to be called, compared the company's resource spending to spreading peanut butter (thinly) on a slice of bread.

Garlinghouse of course, has since moved on. After a stint as senior advisor to Silver Lake, he joined Tim Armstrong late last year as President of Consumer Applications to help turn around another struggling Internet giant: Aol (AOL). Since then, he's reduced in-your-face advertising on its sites, and played a key role in the acquisitions of social media reader maker Brizzly, now responsible for AIM and Lifestream development, and mobile app startup, Rally Up. Up next: gutting and redesigning Aol Mail, which hasn't seen a major change-up since 2007.

Garlinghouse spoke with Fortune on the company's prospects, his old employer, and whether his four-year-old manifesto still applies to Yahoo today.

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