Mayer: New Yahoo CEO and Expectant Mother

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2012-07-17 Print this article Print


One wild card in Mayer's hiring is that she's pregnant and will give birth to a son in October, according to a report by "Apparently, the Yahoo board knew about that and is fine with it," said Keldsen. But what that could mean is that the new CEO will be somewhat distracted by the birth of her first child, he said. "The nature of the world is that any new parent is going to be distracted."

Overall, though, "It is a huge win for Yahoo to get Marissa for all she's done at Google," said Keldsen. "She's wicked smart, she's been around for a while and she's helped make the whole technological revolution happen from behind the scenes. The fact of the matter is that no CEO is the only determination of what a company is going to do."

Douglas Clinton, a financial analyst with Piper Jaffray, lauded Mayer's selection in an email statement, noting that the choice is "a surprise €¦ given her long tenure at Google."

The choice of Mayer "is a sign that Yahoo is focusing on product rather than being a media property," Clinton wrote. "Given that, we€™d expect some meaningful improvements in Yahoo€™s offerings, particularly in lagging properties like Mail and mobile. Building a better iteration of Mail won€™t revive Yahoo, but making a suite of products that consumers can get excited about could."

At the same time, Clinton wrote that he believes that Mayer's reign as CEO will be much longer lasting than the previous three CEOS at the company. "We do think Marissa is different because the board is different this time and this is their first placement at CEO," he wrote. "Given the new board and Mayer€™s track record, she should have a few years runway, but we think investors will expect to see some meaningful changes in the near term given the stock has been basically dead money since Yahoo turned down Microsoft€™s acquisition offer [back in 2008]."  

Rob Enderle, of The Enderle Group, said in an email statement that Mayer starts with something that the three most recent Yahoo CEOs lacked€“a sense that she has won the confidence of Yahoo€™s board.

"Marissa does come with a lot of hope, and folks are much more likely, given her success at Google, to believe she can turn the company around than her recent predecessors," Enderle wrote. "That belief is critical to turning the firm around. However, she has no turn-around experience so we€™ll have to assess the quality of the executive team she builds to be sure she is on the right path."

Enderle said he thinks Mayer can be the stabilizing force that gets Yahoo back on track for success. "She really, based on her accomplishments at Google, should have been [named] CEO [at Google] and not Larry Page, which gives us an unusual situation where the person leading Yahoo should be leading Google. In any case, if she can€™t do this, it is unlikely anyone can."

One step she'll have to take quickly if she's to be successful is to create a fresh company foundation from which she can rebuild Yahoo, Enderle wrote. "She has a lot of housecleaning to do first, and if she doesn€™t do it, she€™ll spend her time putting out fires and not building the company."


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