This week marks Marissa Mayer’s 1 Year Anniversary as the CEO of Yahoo. Without question, I was a fan of Marissa when she started and I’m still a fan today. The stock is up 70% since Marissa took the helm but even more impressive is Yahoo acquired 16 startups in this short time – all high-growth mobile or social businesses. While most were a means to acquire top talent, others like Tumblr, Qwiki, and PlayerScale will keep their teams intact.
Most important – Yahoo is now a focused company with four main zones: core business (content, apps and search), social, gaming, and video (chat and conference calling). On the downside for the year, Yahoo’s short-term growth has been flat. Yesterday’s earning call reflected as much. However, the balance sheet looks better, with profits up and debt down. Plus, for the first time in what seems like forever, Yahoo’s page views (its main source of revenue) were up after years of declines. Most of these gains can be attributed to refreshed versions (both desktop and mobile) of Yahoo Mail, weather, sports, news, and Flickr.
In sum, Yahoo had a solid year. The slide has ended, the company is focused, top talent is flowing in and not out, and Yahoo is positioning itself towards a mobile future. I look forward to what lies ahead in year 2.
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University