I was enthusiastic when Marissa Mayer was hired as Yahoo’s CEO as she is a self-made hard working woman, however, 4 years into her reign, Yahoo is getting sold!
Mayer climbed the ladder step by step in Google by starting as employee number 20 and her major contribution as a developer & designer of Google’s search offerings. It isn’t very clear what were Mayer’s financial KPIs or if she was responsible of any profit and loss.
Mayer created more than 100 Google products as this article suggests, a lot of them were successful but not all!
At its peak, Yahoo’s market capitalization reached $128 billion. It was $20 billion larger than Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s holding company. In May 2012, Yahoo was worth less than $20 billion on the public markets. Mayer’s job was a tough one: Make Yahoo great again!
Mayer used the same model that made her job a successful one at Google: launching successful products and thus she acquired several start-ups hoping that these acquisitions would give similar results to her innovative products in Google, but that didn’t turn out to be an effective strategy to be followed by a CEO. As for the financials, she hired Henrique de Castro (who turned out to be a bad hire), the president of Google’s media, mobile and platforms businesses to take care of them, to allow herself the time to dig into the technical details of Yahoo’s products. Are financials and Yahoo’s strategy being overlooked by the CEO?
Mayer, who had begun her tenure while six months pregnant, tried to lead by example; she often slept only four hours a night and thrived on the breakneck pace. She was the icon of hard work, but could all her employees adopt the same lifestyle and be productive at the same time, research suggests otherwise.
Her attitude towards the employees was not a pleasant one and 12 key executives left the company. In February of 2016, Marissa Mayer lays off 1,700 Yahoo employees in bid to save her own job, could Mayer have resorted to use furloughs rather than layoffs similarly to what Honeywell’s CEO has done as a reaction to the 2007 recession? This should have been given a shot as an attempt to show some innovative thinking instead of re-using the easier methods applied by CEOs worldwide.
Although, Marissa’s success at Google gave the impression that she would make Yahoo great again but it turned out she didn’t have the right profile needed to handle the CEO position of a company that was lacking behind. Hard luck to Marissa who could do a better job now that she gained the CEO experience at Yahoo!