Talented engineers and entrepreneurs are coming to work for Yahoo. Investors are adding its long-languishing stock to their portfolios again. The signs of renewed interest and hope mark a dramatic change from the feelings of hopelessness that had enveloped Yahoo under the direction of six CEOs in the six years leading up to Mayer’s appointment from Google to become its CEO last summer.
The move is shaping up as the best thing to happen to Yahoo since 2005 when it invested $1 billion in what was then a little-known Internet company in China, Alibaba.
The company’s fiscal situation has improved: In its second-quarter financial report, released Tuesday, Yahoo announced that nearly a dozen product launches helped it tally net earnings of $331 million for the quarter, up 46% from $227 million a year earlier. But its second-quarter revenue of $1.14 billion was down 7% from the same period a year earlier.
How Mayer changed Yahoo ?
In her first year as Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer made some transformational changes, launched dozens of apps, and purchased 16 startups. Her most infamous change went viral in February, when an internal memo to employees requesting that everyone work on-site, was leaked to the press.
While Mayer was widely panned for this move, she didn’t intend it to be punitive. She simply recognized that nothing can replace face-to-face collaboration to drive innovation. She may have stumbled on her delivery, but the intention to increase the engagement of her team was right on target.
God, family and Yahoo
In November, her first public interview after taking the reins at Yahoo, Mayer laid out her three priorities. “For me, it’s God, family and Yahoo. While Mayer may not demand that type of superhuman action from her underlings, it’s clear she does expect dedication — and to Mayer, that means showing up every day.
Yahoo sells chunk of Alibaba stake
Mayer wrote in the memo “It generates liquidity to create substantial value for our shareholders, while retaining a meaningful amount in the company to invest in our future”.
Yahoo sells Alibaba stake for $7.6B, Mayer to return $3.65B to shareholders. Sale of 40% share in Chinese company generates $7.6bn to placate shareholders and enable financing of new acquisitions.
Yahoo is still looking to sell the other major part of its Asian holdings, Yahoo Japan, which could be worth as much as $8 billion.
Think Small //
Most of the earlier CEOs focused on cutting costs and introducing innovative products, but they were in vain. Neither of the previous CEOs was successful in reforming the company. Mayer did not adopt this strategy; instead, she focused on acquiring small startup companies to grow inorganically in order to boost the offerings of the company in the cell-phone segment. Where her predecessors failed to reconstruct the company, Mayer succeeded.
Since Marissa Mayer took the helm at Yahoo, she has bought mostly 16 super-small companies in four areas:
- Core content.
- Social Media.
- Video/conference calls.
The biggest 2 deals made by Yahoo was Tumbler microblogging platform and social networking website acquisition for 1.1 B UDS and Summly App for integrated news summaries for 30 M USD
No Work From Home //
Marissa Mayer ends Yahoo’s work-from-home policy – Feb. 25, 2013. Mayer has said she wants Yahoo to move more quickly, with teams focusing on collaboration and communication. Clearly, Mayer thinks it’s hard to make those connections when working remotely.
“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” according to the memo.
Mayer defended her decision by first acknowledging that “people are more productive when they’re alone,” and then continued, “but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.”
Mayer’s policy is not only meant to prevent distraction, but also to increase human interaction, communication and collaboration. Yahoo’s practices of working from home are not standard at other similar companies like Google or Facebook.
Built a Nursery in Her Office
At her own expense, Yahoo CEO built a nursery adjacent to her office to be closer to her son and now she can bring her baby to work, which has angered some stay-at-home employees following her demand that all remote workers report back to the office.
Celebrate the progress
When Mayer speaks to the media, no matter what subject she’s interviewed about, she refocuses attention on the accomplishments the company has made most recently, celebrating those wins. She’s also said over and over that “at Yahoo people are working on important things,” and the repetition of this statement helps her people reconnect with the pride they have in their work. There have been innumerable press releases celebrating new acquisitions and app releases, partnerships, and expansion plans. When employees feel they are an integral part of the success, they spend their free-time dreaming up new innovations, and they bring their best and brightest ideas to work every day.
Yahoo profit rises by 46%
Yahoo’s profits rose by 46 percent in the second quarter, aided by nearly a dozen product launches, though sales at the company were still down. Net earnings for the quarter ended June 30 were $331 million, up from $227 million for the same quarter last year, Yahoo reported.
Mayer took the top job at Yahoo a year ago. Since then she has mounted an aggressive strategy to rebuild the company. Mayer’s efforts are probably headed in the right direction, it is too soon to say whether she will succeed in making Yahoo “cool” again.