New Yahoo CEO Mayer’s First Moves Emulate Google

According to AllThingsD freshly minted Yahoo CEO is making some initial changes at the Sunnyvale company intended to boost morale and inject new energy into the place. Among the changes being implemented are a Friday afternoon “all-hands” meeting, free food and forthcoming reworking of the workspaces.

In these moves Mayer is apparently using Google as the model. However, product changes and upgrades are coming too. AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher says that her indefatigable sources at Yahoo suggest there will be an acquisition or product-related announcement coming soon, to signal Yahoo’s return to a product-oriented focus.

There will also be a range of new hires, with at least some key people coming from Google.

People in tech journalism continue to offer their unsolicited advice while simultaneously asking the tired question “What is Yahoo?” However, getting Yahoo moving again is more important than publicly trying to define Yahoo in a single sentence.

Nonetheless, there are critical questions behind and beneath the What is Yahoo? query. Those include questions of emphasis and resource allocation. Yahoo has far less cash in the bank than Mayer’s old employer so choices and acquisitions will need to be carefully made. Mayer’s predecessor CEO Carol Bartz decided to bet on a few leading Yahoo products (e.g., mail, sports, news) and outsource everything else to cut costs.

It’s not clear yet what Mayer will emphasize. I believe, among other things, she’s got to reinvigorate Yahoo’s local and mobile efforts, which are directly connected and key areas for growth. Along those lines she may also want to “clean up” some of the SMB services, which go hand in hand with local. There’s a solid opportunity there as well.

She’s also got to keep working on Yahoo Mail, a critical source of ad impressions and traffic for the company. You’ll know she’s succeeded if she can make it “cool” to have a Yahoo email address again.

At this point I won’t speculate further. As a final note, however, investor Dave McClure thinks that Yahoo should focus on women. It’s not a bad idea to place additional emphasis there but not to the exclusion of the broader audience.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Top News | Yahoo | Yahoo: Business Issues | Yahoo: Mobile

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J6AB7B7E2MLHHWGL4SWKY5UEFM bizhacks.com

    Excellent, all the support she needs, I’m using yahoo and bing only, yahoo is pretty amazing for SEO research, have a look and you will see, go Marissa!

  • http://dorszyk.com/ Michał Dorsz-Drożdż

    Hi Marissa, what do you mean by “amazing for SEO research”?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/C4FWEJKIKHLC4FB5YNUDI2MF6E Jim Taggert

    Long time Yahoo user here.  Two pieces of advice.  Stop all the pop ups and spam.  The biggest source of spam in my Yahoo Mail is Yahoo itself.

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