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January 19, 2013

A new Yahoo!!!

One of the pioneers of personal e-mail, Yahoo has a new CEO since July 2012 – Marissa Mayer. She has joined the company at a tumultuous phase. Marissa is the third CEO of Yahoo in the space of just one year.

The challenge

With the stepping down of one of the founders of Yahoo, Jerry Yang, internal reorganization and substantial downsizing, a difficult phase had set in. Moreover, Yahoo was fast losing in the competition. Although Yahoo was among the foreplayers to introduce the online chat messenger, the company was unable to adapt to the changing needs of the modern consumers. In the meantime, several portals came around with new and innovative features. There were aspects such as more online storage, options for organization of data, flexibility in design, alternative media for socialization, compatibility with various browsers, etc. on the palette.

Yahoo enjoyed maximum no. of hits in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and was one of the most preferred search engines. With the limelight of search traffic shifting to Google, earnings from online advertisement and display also dropped. Marissa Mayer was faced with an added challenge when the profits of the company dipped by 4% in 2012.

Who’s that girl?

Well, Marissa is no ordinary girl. If Yahoo has hired a woman in a highly male dominated industry, that too when she is in an advanced stage of pregnancy, and against an enormous salary, she must have tremendous mettle!

She has her reputation at her previous organization, Google Inc. to do the talking for her. She is young and smart - about 37 years of age and has immense experience behind her. Also considered among the most powerful and successful women in global business, Marissa understands technology better than anyone else. Having firsthand experience in developing technology, she can focus on the needs of the present day internet users. She has immense potential, a glimpse of which has been witnessed by the world of internet and information technology.

Marissa’s futuristic outlook is all set to revamp the tarnished image of Yahoo as a premiere digital media company, overcoming scandals and controversies.

What is the turn-around plan?

Yahoo is a company that is dedicated to personalize the world wide web (internet) for the user, whichever feature an individual wishes to use, be it email, advertisements and content. The company has entered into multiple sectors in the web : news, stocks, weather, sports and much more. This is what keeps the website going – the revenue comes from multiple resources. But there is no denying that the limelight has shifted to more popular platforms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, mail service providers such as Gmail, search engines like Google, etc.

Marissa Mayer looks forward to expanding Yahoo’s base of users, human resources and talent pool, advertisement partners, shareholders, and more. She seeks to develop products and services that are used by internet users everyday, almost like a daily habit. Her vision is to make Yahoo a part of the lives of the lay man – one should stop by the website at least once a day.

Mayer’s vision is to increase the talent strength, for which she plans to buy over smaller players. Yahoo would own their human resources, and not the products – a concept she has named as “acqui – hiring”.  She would also look forward to extract the best out of the present human resource strength of Yahoo. Each employee would be given responsibilities, and encouraged to exert himself further to achieve higher goals. Incentives would be given to star performers. The feeling that the dark period is on its way out, and the company is growing with its employees would be created. Marissa has also made it a point to make working with Yahoo a lovely experience – free meals and smart phones are given to employees. She also encourages lot of research and investment on capacity building of deserving employees.

One can appreciate that Marissa does not seek to bring about radical changes in the working of the Yahoo empire, but looks to revisit some existing practices. She would review the business strategy that has been followed so far; and identify areas where changes need to be brought about. Her key to success is her flexibility - she would consider withdrawing from some non profit making ventures and associations to optimize the areas of work, and gain the confidence of shareholders and other financial stakeholders. She is also willing to consider withdrawing operations from South Korea, where there is stiff completion is being faced.

The revamp strategy is heavily oriented towards the compatibility of Yahoo on cell phone and other mobile devices in the modern era of smart phones, 4G and 3G technology, intelligent gadgets, etc. It is indeed a huge leap technologically, but it’s the need of the hour. Other Silicon Valley Giants have made this transition too, but they are in still in the transition stage. At the same time, internet access on the move should be charged minimally to the user to attract them to this facility.

What do the figures say?

The financial report of the last quarter of Yahoo speaks highly of the achievements of its new CEO. It seems that Marissa has put her experience of working almost one and a half decades with Google in good use.

Yahoo has overcome the dipping graph of financial performance with the net revenue of the website going higher by 0.02 billion dollars from $1.07 billion to $1.09 billion; which is after paying all dues to partner websites and all other stakeholders. It is to be noted that the employee strength of Yahoo during this period was about 12% lesser; which makes this a commendable achievement.

Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo has once again become the talk of the internet industry and social media. With its new features and more interactive platform, users are loving the website all over. Considerable appreciation is flowing in; and the backend team of Yahoo is working on the suggestions to constantly keep evolving. 

Tags : Yahoo, New CEO, Messenger, Turnaround

About Anupama

A Transport Planner and Architect, Anupama has been blogging for about six years now. She has taken up professional content writing for the last two years, and can always be contacted for any assignments or queries. Her strength is original presentation of any topic.