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Marissa Mayer



July 16, 2012 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: AAPL , GOOGL , YHOO

Ms Mayer's been in a number of profiles regarding Google in the last few years; unlike its secretive and nerdy founders, she is publication-friendly, interview-friendly, and clearly an executive with vision and an ability to execute that vision.  One article I saw even compared her to Steve Jobs with regard to those qualities.

Of course, today she was named CEO of Yahoo!, a company that has been foundering without a rudder for the past decade as Google blew its doors off in every way possible.

I think this move is somewhat peculiar.  I am sure Ms Mayer was promised an exorbitant pay package and a golden parachute that will ensure that she is set for life financially; but as GOOG employee #20 she almost surely already is.  The real question is, what does she hope to accomplish?

Recently Tim Cook took the helm at AAPL; and shortly thereafter Ron Johnson, head of retail, jumped ship for Penney, while Bertie Serlet, head of engineering, departed to form his own tech startup.  These fellows saw that they were never going to make any more vertical progress in the AAPL org chart; the only way up for them was out.

Can you imagine Johnson or Serlet departing to lead Microsoft, or Dell, or Google for that matter?  That would be odd.  Ms Mayer's move is odd.  I personally think she would have been better at the job that Eric Schmidt was tapped to do (though perhaps she would not have been quite as adept at the corporate espionage Schmidt carried out during his two years on AAPL's board, the two years during which iPhone - and Android - were being developed under wraps, the latter just a few months behind the other, and of course no connection express or implied.)

Yahoo! is undergoing death rattles.  If Ms Mayer thinks she can right its ship in the kind of competitive landscape it's facing, good for her; but I doubt it.  If she thinks she can wipe Larry Page's eye, good for her too - but I doubt it.

And if Google thinks they've won by creating an environment where someone like Ms Mayer feels the only way up is out - good for them.  But I doubt it.

I think this was a lose-lose all around.

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM, constructive (99.97) wrote:

"Can you imagine Johnson or Serlet departing to lead Microsoft, or Dell, or Google for that matter?"

Yes. Or another medium to large tech company.  That kind of thing happens all the time.

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#2) On July 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM, rofgile (99.52) wrote:

I think her move wasn't terribly bad - Marissa Mayer's a CEO now.  I'd love to be a CEO of a company such as yahoo (even if yahoo is only a minor player in tech nowadays).  She does have tons of connections within Google and the tech field, is charismatic, and experienced.  There is a good chance that with her at the helm, yahoo could pull in other strong talent.

However, it is also being reported that she is expecting.  That means that she will have a lot in her personal life at the same time as the transition.  


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#3) On July 17, 2012 at 8:36 PM, ikkyu2 (98.13) wrote:

Yes. Or another medium to large tech company.  That kind of thing happens all the time.

No, it doesn't; nor are we talking about "another medium to large tech company."  The CFO of GM might depart to head up American Axle, or Goodyear Tire - suppliers or other car-related businesses; but he does not go to work as the CEO of Ford, a direct competitor.  There have to be questions about where her loyalties lie; there have to be questions about why the Google earth gets scorched in her wake.

She is, in fact, like Lucifer - a subordinate angel who left to be in charge of Hell.  Lucifer never gets to come back and be an angel again; and for all eternity, his motives are questioned and no one will trust him.

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#4) On July 17, 2012 at 10:13 PM, constructive (99.97) wrote:

et cetera 

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#5) On July 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM, lemoneater (56.77) wrote:

At first I thought you were talking about Marissa Meyer the author of Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles. I haven't read it yet, but a reworked fairytale about an android in a post apocolyptic setting looks interesting.

I would be glad if Ms. Mayer could bring new life to Yahoo. I still find Yahoo useful for financial articles since my touch automatically brings articles up with the stock program. Apple is doing its part to keep name recognition going for Yahoo.

Wishing you a good week. Thanks for the analysis on Yahoo.

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