Ajit Deshpande - July 22, 2012 - 0 Comments
On July 17th, Marissa Mayer, the early Google engineer and in more recent times one of Google’s most public faces, took over as CEO of Yahoo! As the sixth CEO of Yahoo (including interim CEOs) in the past five years, Ms. Mayer for sure has a challenging path ahead of her. Patience runs thin for shareholders of this fabled company whose market cap is currently approximately equal to the estimated value of its combined holdings in Alibaba and in Yahoo! Japan.
Is Marissa Mayer the need of the hour for Yahoo? Maybe Yahoo’s achilles heel in recent years has been its user experience – if so then this product-focused executive who is touted to be behind the clean and simple look and feel of several of Google’s products might just be the right person to bring Yahoo’s products out of their current funk and back to relevance over the next couple years. Or maybe Yahoo’s challenges lie more on the business side; maybe Yahoo rather needs executives who know how to create, nurture, grow and retain two-sided marketplaces. Can Marissa Mayer in this case, attract such key executives to join her in architecting Yahoo’s renaissance? Or maybe Yahoo’s real problem is that it has been bleeding engineering talent for the past decade, in which case would Ms. Mayer be able to attract some difference makers in that area? Lots of questions clearly remain, but one thing is for certain – the Yahoo board is swinging for the fences with this choice; for Yahoo’s sake, let’s hope this turns out to be a home run!