May 14, 2024 - Business

Yahoo CEO said he was "scared" of Artifact AI platform at first

Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone (left) talks with Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva

Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone talks to Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva on May 14. Photo: Axios BFD San Francisco 2024

Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone was "a little scared" of AI-driven news aggregation platform Artifact at first but became a "huge fan."

Why it matters: Yahoo bought Artifact, which was started by Instagram's co-founders, in early April and is building a new product together, Lanzone told Kia Kokalitcheva Tuesday at Axios BFD in San Francisco.

  • "I loved how that product worked. I thought it was really smart," Lanzone said of Artifact.

The big picture: Yahoo has been on an acquisition spree and focused on reinventing itself since being acquired by private-equity firm Apollo Global Management in May 2021.

  • Lanzone, the former CEO of the dating app Tinder and a former CBS Interactive executive, has been Yahoo's CEO since September 2021.

Context: Yahoo was the third-largest digital media property by reach and unique visitors in March 2024, according to data from Comscore, trailing only Google and Microsoft.

What's next: Lanzone said he couldn't give a date of the launch with Artifact but said it's "not going to be too far out."

  • One thing that doesn't appear to be coming in the near future is another IPO for Yahoo.
  • "We have a lot of runway with the business itself being really healthy," Lanzone said. "I'm sure in the PE world there are timelines. But I don't think I was brought in to be the one to worry about those."

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