A Googler Becomes a Yahooligan: Marissa Mayer to Yahoo

July 16, 2012

I wanted to document the event. “Yahoo Appoints Marissa Mayer Chief Executive Officer” appeared on July 16, 2012. Lots of praise in the Yahoo announcement. No argument from Harrods Creek. Here’s a snippet:

Yahoo! Co-Founder David Filo said, “Marissa is a well-known, visionary leader in user experience and product design and one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting strategists in technology development. I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo’s product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors.” “The Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Marissa’s unparalleled track record in technology, design, and product execution makes her the right leader for Yahoo! at this time of enormous opportunity,” said Fred Amoroso, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Several thoughts:

  1. Our view is that Yahoo has its work cut out for it. A high profile, really rich female may help, but Yahoo has to make some revenue progress.
  2. Yahoo is quite a bit like AOL. I am not sure this is exactly the type of outfit which can respond to new opportunities. Good ideas are widely available. Doing something that makes a difference may be easier to talk about than do.
  3. Why did Ms. Mayer leave Google? Money, visibility, power? These are great reasons, but I worry that the softening at Google and the shift under Mr. Page may have been factors. Hopefully more details will emerge.

In the meantime, I would reflect on one of Terry Semel’s Yahoo quotes. This one is from “Yahoo’s Mission Quest.

“I don’t know that we have a motto. Well, the mission of the company is, Deliver great value to our consumers and, basically, value them.”

Perhaps Ms. Mayer can update this statement?

Stephen E Arnold, July 16, 2012

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