Yahoo Fails, But Marissa Mayer Is Clearly 'The Boss'

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 10, 2017


Marissa Mayer has always been in the headlines. After graduating from Stanford, she reportedly got 22 job offers that included a teaching job at Carnegie Mellon and consulting for one of the Big-Four. Joining Google in 1999 was indeed a smart thinking for her that brought her to the limelight. 
The next time she made news was when she scaled the Google hierarchy at break neck speed and was appointed VP of the company in 2005, overseeing a slew of offerings ranging from Search, News, Maps, Images, Gmail and many more. She was the boss and the world woke up and took note. 
However, the honeymoon turned sour, albeit briefly when the then CEO Eric Schmidt thought it fit to clip her wings in 2010. She was ousted from most of the products and services of Google, leaving just Maps, Local and Location Search. Over the next two years, she was busy mentoring, teaching and doing a host of things that were outside the purview of Google’s product portfolio. Of course, she did manage to swing a deal - survey site Zagat was bought for USD 125 million. 
And the next headlines came in 2012 when Yahoo announced her acquisition from Google, which was killing the way content was being consumed globally. No more were web portals the go-to source for news or information. One might ask what prompted the Yahoo board to get Marissa on-board? Was she going to bring Yahoo Search back to its halcyon days? Was she going to recreate the Yahoo magic for millions of its dedicated users? The questions remained.
Mayer continued to make headlines - from Yahoo’s endless number of acquisitions, its corporate policies, change in management and for the companies large scale hacks… And after over four years, as Mayer is just about to end her innings at Yahoo, having presided over its sale to Verizon for an amount that was way below what earlier suitors had offered, she emerged as a tech icon, someone desperately needed in an industry that is so male dominated.

Read more: Verizon Buys Yahoo! And, We Find It Tough To Digest

While Yahoo will be rechristened Altaba [as per the latest SEC filing] and Yahoo may not be the same ever, and whether Mayer remains in Yahoo or joins some other company, she will clearly remain the Boss. In fact it would be a blessing in disguise if she quits the struggling Yahoo that faced withering competition in digital advertising from larger rivals Google and Facebook. It was just not meant to be, as many would agree that Mayer took charge to run a sinking ship in the deep ocean. All she could achieve was grow mobile revenues to a billion dollars per year, in addition to expanding Yahoo News. 


Nonetheless, Yahoo’s failure to recreate the magic was never a limitation for Mayer to become one of the top grossing CEOs of 2016 in terms of her asset. Despite a $6 million pay cut, Mayer still managed to rank among the highest paid tech CEOs in the U.S. She received a pay package valued at $36 million in 2015, down 15% from $42 million a year earlier. The bulk of her package is tied to stock and option awards.

There are strong possibilities of Mayer moving over to another high profile company as its chief. Some believe her next destination could be Twitter, where Jack Dorsey, the current CEO and the cofounder, doesn’t seem clued up to make Twitter profitable, and that is one of Mayer’s strengths.

Read more: Seven Most Powerful Women In Tech

While Mayer is not an innovator like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, she is the kind of leader who will get things done in order and make sure things are in her command - and that’s what Twitter needs at the moment, believe experts.

Twitter may be just an assumption. We may not know what’s awaiting Mayer. However, given her caliber and enthusiasm, one thing is obvious, Mayer is not going to sink into oblivion just yet. She’s only 41, and her tenure as the CEO at Yahoo is perhaps only a precursor to what will come next. We can recall what Mayer said in a 2008 interview: “I helped build Google, but I don’t like to rest on [my] laurels. I think the most interesting thing is what happens next.”

So hopefully, this would be an interesting space to watch out.