In an exclusive interview with "Globes", Yahoo! VP product strategy group Bradley Horowitz gave more details about the company's development plans in Israel, but had little to say about its strategic collaboration with Walla Communications Ltd. (TASE: WALA). Horowitz is in charge of building innovative products and technologies at Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO).
Globes: Last week we learned that Yahoo! is opening an R&D center in Israel. Don't think you're a bit late?
Horowitz: "Yahoo has a very strong R&D presence worldwide, and we're aware that you can't play in the major leagues without Israeli programmers. We've been attracting talented Israelis to our campuses for years, and we realized that it was time we opened a center where all this talent is concentrated instead of bringing it to us."
But you've been absent from the Israeli R&D arena for years, and left the stage to Microsoft and Google.
"We may be making a late entry to the game, but we intend to do it with a lot of determination. Better late than never, I feel."
As a rank and file Internet user, why should I use Yahoo! for my searches rather than Google?
"Yahoo! is not just a search algorithm; there's a supporting content system with a range of material from weather forecasts, to information on the markets under the auspices of Yahoo! Finance. Aside from being an excellent gateway to the entire Internet, some excellent content is created on our portal and I think this is one of the main reasons that surfers choose us."
Have you heard about Yahoo's collaboration with Walla! in the competition with Google, and can you tell us how many people you will be hiring at your R&D center in Israel?
"As regards Walla!, I haven't heard anything about it, so I can't comment either. We don't give out details about our hiring of programmers at R&D centers, but I can assure you that we didn't just decide to set up a center in Israel as an afterthought. We intend to attract tens of talented Israelis and be a strong and dominant force in Israel in that respect."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 21, 2008
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