Yahoo’s new CEO Mayer is work hard, play hard. But can she save Yahoo!? Yahoo! inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) – the Web 1.0 search juggernaut – might be able to weather its current storm with its new CEO, Marissa Mayer, at the helm. The ex-Googler is working to transform Yahoo – both it’s products and culture – at breakneck speeds. But can she bail enough water out of this sinking ship to keep it afloat?
1.) Mayer is making Yahoo! more Google-ish. Google is renound for having an employee-friendly workspace full of gyms, nap-pods, free food, bouncy balls, and any equipment their developers need for their jobs. Google’s strategy asserts that creating an engaging workplace and providing services in-office that employees would normally leave for will keep them contented, in the office, and productive. When Mayer left Google for Yahoo!, she brought those cultural insights with her. At Mayer’s insistence, Yahoo!’s cafeteria is now free to all full-time employees. As Business Insider reported, Mayer even has plans in the works to hand out free iPhone 5s to employees to encourage standardization in user experience and enterprise technology.
2.) Mayer is scooping up talent from her competition. If Mayer is to turn around Yahoo – from both a financial and product development standpoint – she has a lot of work (read: opportunity) in front of her. To help grow and restore Yahoo to its former prominence, she’s assembling a powerful team around herself that she’s acquiring piecemeal from her competition (and last employer: all of her steals have been Googlers!). Recent acquisitions include PR specialists, product managers, and a new Chief of Staff – all from Google.
3.) Mayer means business. Revitalizing Yahoo! will be hard work – and Mayer wants her engineers to feel the burn. Mayer is pushing her developers in a way that the Yahooligans aren’t very familiar with. In a recent meeting, Mayer delivered an aggressive ultimatum to a product development team: have an impressive new feature ready for launch by December, or she will find a team who can. This sink-or-swim mentality might be just the push that the Yahooligans need to compete with companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. But for all of Mayer’s recent impressive shakeups, hires, and expectations, many still question her ability to save Yahoo! She’s recently made several (oft-ridiculed) phone calls to other Silicon Valley execs asking for help or advice in fixing Yahoo!, she has an image problem to overcome after publicly insulting Yahoo! while she was at Google, and – to make matters more complicated – she’s pregnant. Will Mayer have what it takes to balance work and life and save Yahoo!? Or is the once-relevant web titan headed the way of MySpace and AskJeeves? If Mayer can bring the engineering talent and innovation that Yahoo! needs to compete with social-savvy and smart-searching rivals Facebook and Google, she just might be able to restore Yahoo! to its former prominence.