On our Radar – Yahoo: Real Change or Toilet Paper

by Oct 4, 2012Trending0 comments

Well, Don’t ask me why Yahoo is on my radar… I guess it is because it may be on yours. I stumbled upon an announcement by the new CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, that I found worth watching. I don’t personally use Yahoo much; I’m more of a Google fan (which is a bit conflicting since that is where she came from).


First, I found it interesting that Yahoo would go with a female CEO (and a pregnant one at that). That is a HUGE affirmation in a person. So, it follows that the board must either have a lot of FAITH in this person or be DESPERATE. So, it boils down to curiosity.

  • Marissa was Fortune magazine’s  annual “Most Powerful Women” list for the past 3 years, so she has something going for her.
  • During her 12 years at Google, Marissa led product management and design for Google web search, images, news, books, products, toolbar, and iGoogle.
So, being a women myself, I feel a little guilty questioning her capabilities. I reconcile this guilt by saying that I would have questioned ANYONE’s ability to turn around something as big as Yahoo, but the fact that she is a young women caught my attention.

Change for change sake?

Change is hard for people, and so they resist. Having been raised in the corporate world I can see the face of the employee who asked the question:

The plan sounded vague and it sounded a lot like the last plan.

Turning a large ship around sometimes requires changing out some of the players, which she is doing; selling divisions, shifting upper management positions, etc. These are all moves those of us from corporate america are familiar with. But…

How is her VISION different?

In 1985 Steve Jobs had a vision he communicated which was that he envisioned that a computer would be a notebook that everyone would carry around, that would work and connect with the internet under its own power, like a radio. Now THAT is a vision!

So, the statement that she wants Yahoo to have mobile products that hundreds of millions of users touch every day doesn’t sound much like a vision…. I can do that with toilet paper.

The right direction?

The problem with Mayer’s guiding strategy is that it sounds like every other Corporate strategy:

  • Become something users touch every day.
  • Focus more on what we’re good at and less of what we’re not.
  • Partner friendly.
  • Strong in mobile by 2015.
  • Projects will only be green-lit if they can scale to 100 million users or $100 million in revenue.
  • Move faster, giving employees more deadlines, ownership, resources, and tools.

Nurture talent through “the Four Cs.”

  • Culture
  • Company goals
  • Calibration
  • Compensation.

Wow, now that is different (NOT!).

Is the ship headed in the right direction? That is why I’m watching.

Do you have any skin in the game?

If so, I would love to hear your thoughts.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/marissa-mayer-sets-2015-goal-for-yahoo-will-mobile-dominance-achieved-through-acquisition-2012-9#ixzz28MFEnwpF




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