Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Is Turning Yahoo Around with These Strategies


Marissa Mayer is President & CEO of Yahoo! On July 16, 2012, Mayer was appointed President and CEO of Yahoo!, effective the following day. She is also a member of the company’s board of directors.

Marissa Mayer

She spent 13 years at Google.  Mayer joined Google in 1999 as employee number 20 and was the company’s first female engineer.  During her 13 years with the company, she was an engineer, designer, product manager and executive.

She is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Mayer is also the youngest woman ever to make the Fortune Most Powerful Women list. And has been ranked number 14 on the list of America’s most powerful businesswomen of 2012 by Fortune magazine.

Mayer wants Yahoo’s technologies and tools to be  much more interactive, on PCs and on mobile devices, using social media tools to personalize the user experience and new technology to boost advertising sales. Yahoo’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 2% to $1.35 billion, Yahoo’s first full-year revenue increase in three years.

Most of these accomplishments, strategies  and vision for Yahoo were revealed by Marissa in her conference call to discuss Yahoo’s financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012.

# Accomplishment: She gave away new phones and free food to Yahoo! employees, and has introduced weekly all-hands meeting, a new protocol for product launches and the implementation of a new hiring process.

# Why give away free Phones: To get consistency across the company to make its products really shine and to boost morale.

# Accomplishment: Redesigned Flickr iOS app and Yahoo Mail. Yahoo has acquired mobile recommendations app Stamped and  Snip.it, a social tool that lets users collect and share web content.

# Focus: Yahoo will focus on developing or redesigning roughly a dozen products in the months and years to come, each built around people’s “daily digital habits,” Mayer said.

# Focus:  Investments in improving its mail, search and homepage products, and an editorial emphasis on news, sports and finance.

# Focus : ” We need to invest in a lot of interface improvements. All of the innovations in search are going to happen at the user interface level moving forward and we need to invest in those features both on the desktop and on mobile and I think both ultimately will be key plays for us.” She said in her announcement of Yahoo!’s  fourth-quarter (2012) revenue.

# Focus:  Our focus, in addition to technology, but also on media, means there is an opportunity for strong partnerships. In terms of social network, we have a strong partnership with Facebook. We’re able to work with some of these players that have a lot of strength in order to bolster our user experience that we offer on the Yahoo site.

# Why focus on Mobile: “If you look at what’s happening in terms of the shift to mobile, the number of mobile phones and smartphones in the world has tripled in five years. Tablet sales will outsell laptops this coming year, if predictions hold true,”-Bloomberg

# Yahoo business challenges she intends to change: Increasing usage, growing the company’s international presence and  widening the demographic profile of its users.

# The future: Yahoo intends to have at least 50 percent of its engineering workforce dedicated to mobile.

# The future of Search: “I think there’s a huge opportunity in the future around personalization. Understanding what do I know already, what are my preferences, and how to present the information. I think that extends beyond just search, or broadly to discovery. We can think about ‘how do we take the internet and order it for you?” Techcrunch

Mayer’s turnaround plan for Yahoo is still in its early stages, but she’s fulfilling her most important role as a leader—rallying people around a common vision.-Forbes

Image courtesy nymag.com