Yahoo has had its share of follows over the last 4 years, particularly after passing on a huge opportunity with Microsoft. After ousting their last CEO, the company has been under a ton of pressure to bring a CEO who had the (real) qualifications, the gumption, and the presence to lead the company back to prominence. With their tapping of Google executive Marissa Mayer, we believe they have delivered on their promise.
The 13-years veteran has tons of experience with the one thing that Yahoo needs to regain its once-lofty position as a top internet company: generating ad revenue. As the head of Adwords for the crucial years before moving over to head up the SoLoMo team, Mayer has demonstrated a clear understanding that revenue drives a company’s success. It may seem simple but in the tech world (particularly in the internet world) it’s a fact that is all-too-often lost in the hype of other success factors.
Yahoo needs to make money and Mayer knows how to make it happen. Assuming the response from their boisterous shareholders is mostly positive, Mayer should be ushered in with the fanfare that the position deserves. She brings one exceptionally-important component to the table that will likely leave a bad taste in Google’s mouth; she was on the operating committee, an extremely exclusive group of senior executives who worked directly with Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The knowledge of discussions during those meetings alone makes her a tremendous benefit to Yahoo and an instant (albeit friendly) enemy to Google.
She will be under much scrutiny over the coming weeks, not only as the CEO of Yahoo but also as a female. Most of this will be eventually dismissed; as long as she is able to deliver on the recovery that she’s bound to promise, the fact that she’s a woman should fade from the focus points.