As we covered a few weeks ago, Yahoo has a new CEO in Marissa Mayer, previously a rather important cog in the Google machine, and previously an engineer by trade. When the previous article was published all we knew is that Miss Mayer had come from Google, was receiving a somewhat large benefits and pay package and that she urged Yahoo! staff to stay and keep doing what they are doing.
Now that Miss Mayer has had a few weeks to sit in the big chair and take stock (we’ll get to that) we have started to discover what it is she wants Yahoo! as a company to start focusing on – Yahoo! search and email, and as a priority.
In June 2011 Yahoo’s market share in search was at 15.9%, however in June this year it had fallen to that of 13% (comScore findings) so how can Miss Mayer start getting people back to Yahoo! as their primary search? Well as she was a large part of building Google into the search giant that they are now she must have a few tricks up her sleeve, some of which will be contacts, some of it will be improving the search engine.
It has been reported that the new CEO has held several meetings with Yahoo’s product leaders to discuss turning around the falling numbers in their search and mail clients. Miss Mayer has also expressed a desire to take advantage more fully of the many social media networks that are out there including mobile devices and local business’.
Staff & Morale
In a bid to restore staff morale Miss Mayer has changed the in-office canteen to that of a free one. No longer will Yahoo employee’s have to pay for their breakfast, lunch or dinner whilst at work. No doubt employee’s were happy with this change and one that should have come sooner, its something that has long gone on at several other large internet companies, especially those based in silicon valley, Google of course being one of them. By making sure that refreshment is always available Miss Mayer hopes to encourage staff to remain after hours, or to come in early because they don’t have to worry about meals.
In another moral boosting move the stock ticker has been taken down from the Yahoo! internal website. This is to encourage employees to focus more on developing great products for their consumers than the financial stability of the company, after all that’s her job.
To add to the Yahoo story is of course Miss Mayer’s recently announced pregnancy. Expecting a baby boy in October, the CEO vowed to return to work after just 2 weeks. That’s not a lot of time to recover from what can only be described as physical trauma to your body, but you also miss out on bonding with your first-born child. Many women in the work place often feel pressure to return to work after having a child, but then these woman haven’t just taken control of Yahoo!, one of the oldest and and for a time, biggest internet companies in the world. This is of course a personal decision made by Mayer and could be subject to change should she decide that more time off is required, or what she in fact wants.
Can She Do It?
With 2 degrees from Standford University, Mayer is both a business executive and a software engineer, is a Four time honoree of Fortune’s 50 most powerful women in business, has had a number of impressive board appointments and Glamour magazine named her business women of the year in 2009.
With accolades like that, it would appear that the Yahoo! board may have finally appointed the right person for the job, but only time will tell.