Just before Google Inc. went public nearly three years ago, Yahoo Inc. Chairman Terry Semel assured a roomful of securities analysts and money managers that his company would remain the Internet's brightest star. To punctuate his high hopes, Frank Sinatra's "The Best Is Yet to Come" played in the background.
Shareholders are exasperated largely because Yahoo has seemed to be meandering while online search leader Google has been stampeding farther ahead.
In the last year alone, Google has trumped Yahoo in the bidding for online video pioneer YouTube Inc. and Internet display ad service DoubleClick Inc. while widening its lead in the lucrative field of search. Google has established such a commanding advantage that the Mountain View company makes more money in a single quarter than Yahoo does in an entire year.