From time to time i have wrote about Yahoo, one of the pioneers of the Internet. They went from being the dominant company on the net in the early 21st century to being one of the many internet companies. This has much to do with the company’s lack of direction and lack of innovation.
By now everyone broke the news that Marissa Mayer one of Google’s most renowned employees has been appointed as CEO of Yahoo. More important Marissa is pregnant is six months and the board of Yahoo didn’t care about this. This shows how much they wanted someone with experience and someone with the right exposure.
But her job won’t be easy. Yahoo definitely needs new talent and a new direction. To succeed she will need several things:
- to change the morale of the Yahoo employees and make Yahoo a worthwhile option for top talents.
- to find allies among current executives in the company which otherwise could hamper her efforts to reform the company
- to shift the company towards an innovative company bringing out new products and consolidating existing ones
- last but not least important is the fact that in fall she will give birth, by that time she needs to produce some results (not necessarily visible to us) as it might happen that impatient investors will doubt that she can handle motherhood and CEO at the same time. She might not have a job to return to.
If she can do these things and do them quickly she might become the most successful woman in technology. There are a few reasons why she might succeed. Marc Andreessen sums it up in Business Insider quite well:
So you think Mayer is a great hire. Why?
- She’s a proven manager at scale. She knows how to run these companies at scale. There aren’t that many product managers in our industry who can manage at scale.
- She’s a proven product leader.
- She knows the Internet inside out.
A lot of people who may have had those first two may not have the third.
Overall i think that this is a good move from Yahoo and i must admit that i was surprised pleasantly by this news. Let’s see what she can do for Yahoo because it would really be a shame if this iconic company would go down the drain.