Transformation at Yahoo Foiled by Its Leader’s Inability to Bet the Farm

3. December 2015

Date: 03-12-2015
Source: The New York Times

alibaba cc campusThe Alibaba Group campus in Hangzhou, China. Planning a spinoff of Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba has consumed much of Marissa Mayer’s tenure.

It’s not a big surprise that Marissa Mayer has failed to resurrect Yahoo. When the
celebrated Google executive took over the web’s most iconic basket case in 2012, the odds were stacked against her. Turning around any company is difficult; turning around a tech company is nearly unheard-of. There’s just one example everyone can think of — Apple — but that effort took nearly a decade to show results, and anyway, if your requirement for success is to be like Steve Jobs, good luck to you.

So the fact that Yahoo’s board is now considering a sale of the company’s web business — after months of pressure from activist shareholders and a mass defection of executives that has left morale spiraling — is hardly a shock. The hearse has been heading down the 101 freeway to Yahoo’s sunny headquarters for years. Now it’s pulling into the parking lot, and Ms. Mayer just happens to be the chief executive who will greet it. Read the rest of this entry »


Yahoo: Mayer culpa

28. February 2013

Date: 28-02-2013
Source: The Economist

Forcing workers to come into the office is a symptom of Yahoo’s problems, not a solution to them

IN JONATHAN SWIFT’S 1726 novel, “Gulliver’s Travels”, the Yahoos are a degraded band of humanoids kept tethered in stalls by their equine captors. It is therefore appropriate that a recent, widely leaked memo from Yahoo’s human-resources manager, Jackie Reses, began with the toe-curling salutation with which managers at the company normally address underlings: “Yahoos”.

“We can all feel the energy and buzz in our offices,” the memo went on. Presumably, though, while some Yahoos are feeling it, others are lounging around at home in their pyjamas, for the memo went on to say that from June all Yahoos will be required to turn up in the office unless they have a good excuse. “The best is yet to come,” the memo ended—a claim which may sound implausible to the employees of a company whose market capitalisation has fallen from $125 billion in 2000 to $25 billion now. Read the rest of this entry »