Marissa Explains It All
Given its lousy financial performance, periodic bouts of layoffs, questionable patent litigation strategy and security lapses, Yahoo appears to be adrift, listing, off course, capsizing. Name any unfavorable nautical condition, and it probably applies to Yahoo.
A large part of the blame for that lies with the people in charge of hiring the captain. Yahoo's board of directors has discarded three CEOs over the last four years. It squeezed a company cofounder out of the position, fired his replacement via a phone call, and then sent the next guy packing after just a matter of months when it was revealed he'd fed them a puffed-up resume.
With its latest hire, though, it's trying something different. Instead of taking up with another itinerant executive with experience leading a couple of low- to medium-profile tech companies, Yahoo has hired a Silicon Valley celebrity: Marissa Mayer.
By many accounts, Yahoo is lucky to have landed her. Mayer has been with Google since before Google was a verb. She was its 20th employee, and during her career she's played key roles in some of the company's most successful products: Maps, News, Books, Images, Gmail, not to mention good old Search. She is not in the habit of working quietly behind the scenes. Between the public appearances, magazine covers and interviews, hers is probably Google's third-most recognizable face behind cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Now she's the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company, freshly scooped up from a top spot at arguably the world's most powerful Internet outfit. And she has her work cut out for her.Just after she took the job, Yahoo announced its second-quarter numbers, and they were a typical shade of glum: declining overall revenue, stagnant display ad revenue, and continuing feeble results from its Microsoft partnership.
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