Rebooting Yahoo: Can Maynard Webb make a difference?

by Ankita Mohinta    Aug 21, 2013

Maynard Webb

Yahoo has a new board member, Silicon valley legend Maynard Webb. Webb has been known in Silicon valley as a very interesting figure. He is a 30-year veteran of the technology industry. An active leader in the technology and business community, Maynard serves as a board member, investor, philanthropist and mentor to young entrepreneurs.

Webb was named the interim Chairman after Fred Amoroso resigned in April. A spokeswoman Anne Espiritu, told Bloomberg, “Maynard Webb’s leadership and guidance have been an invaluable part of our board since he joined it in 2012. We are honored that Maynard will continue to serve as Chairman of the board.”

Webb received his Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice from Florida Atlantic University and took up an entry-level job at IBM after graduation. He went on to found Webb Investment Network (WIN), a seed investment firm which focused on nurturing young talent. After that, he co-founded  Everwise providing workspace mentoring solutions. Webb is the chairman (and was formerly the CEO) of LiveOps, a cloud based call center with a community of 20,000 agents.

Prior to that he was COO of eBay, where he helped transform the company, enabling eBay to grow from $140 million in revenue to more than $6 billion in 2006. Webb has also served on several public and private boards including Gartner, Niku , Extensity, Hyperion, Peribit (acquired by Juniper Networks), Baynote, and AdMob (acquired by Google) where he was also one of the first investors.

In January 2013, Webb published a book co-authored with Carlye Adler titled, Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship. The book is primarily about infusing new work models with the traditional work models which are not really relevant at this day and age. The book talks about four different mindsets around work through a unique framework: the company man, CEO of your own destiny, disenchanted employee, and the aspiring entrepreneur.

It talks about how technology can be utilized in a beneficial manner and used to become not only more productive at work but also spend time with family leading to personal happiness. On the concept of entrepreneurship, Webb says “We have to acknowledge that in the Age of Entrepreneurship, the onus of personal and professional development is on the individual, not on the company.”

He also comments in the changing nature of work by stating,  “Companies that want to remain competitive need to hire the best resources, regardless of where they reside. In the future, workers will realize that they can work for the best companies, from wherever they want to live.” Talking about Webb’s personality and his book, John Donahoe, president and CEO, eBay said “Maynard is one of the most effective leaders I have ever worked with. He knows how to blend innovation with execution at scale. Rebooting Work shares the practical insights and lessons from his experience.”

 In an interview with Jon Xavier recently, Webb was publicly quoted saying that Marissa Mayer is one of his top 3 favorite CEOs in the would whom he admires. It seems, Webb’s approach to running a company seems to match with CEO Marissa Mayer’s. With Mayer determined to make Yahoo a cool and hip company that every young entrepreneur would want to work for, lets see what difference Webb can make to the company’s dwindling fortunes.