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Mayer expected to lay out Yahoo's turnaround plan Tuesday

Sharon Gaudin | Sept. 25, 2012
Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to unveil her plan on Tuesday to turn around the ailing Internet company.

Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to unveil her plan on Tuesday to turn around the ailing Internet company.

Industry analysts say it's time for Mayer, who joined Yahoo in July, to lay out a vision for Yahoo's future that will motivate employees and keep investors on board.

Mayer is set to roll out her new plan during a companywide meeting at Yahoo's Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters, according to a report from All Things D. Citing an internal memo, the report noted that Mayer, who left a high-level executive position Google for Yahoo, met with Yahoo's board of directors twice last week to detail her plans. The company is expected to hold two meetings -- one in the morning and one in the afternoon to accommodate various time zones.

A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment on the report or to confirm or deny that a plan will be unveiled Tuesday.

Mayer has spent a few months at the helm of a company that has gone through three CEOs in less than a year, suffered slipping mindshare and an executive scandal.

"This will make the difference over whether Yahoo grows or becomes the next Netscape," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. "She needs to provide a vision the employees, investors, users, and advertisers can believe in and then execute. Yahoo is in a mess, but she has been making some strong initial decisions."

He added, for instance, that it was a good move for Mayer to reverse a previously made decision to return excess cash to stockholders, which he said would have been a "very stupid thing to do."

Earlier this month, Mayer reportedly gave all U.S. part-time and full-time employees their choice of an Apple, Samsung, Nokia or HTC smartphone. Citing another internal memo, Business Insider reported that Mayer, who in August made all company cafeteria food free, for full-time employees, wanted Yahoo workers using the same technology that their users do.

Free food and phones aside, Mayer needs to let employees know that she has a solid plan, according to Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group.

"From what I'm hearing, she'll lay out the lines of business that they'll be focusing on going forward and their goals," he added. "It has to be specific enough so that everyone understands which individual parts of Yahoo are most relevant and how they'll each contribute to the whole. From what I hear, she has a maniacal focus on the user experience, which, if true, can only be a good thing."

One of the big questions is whether Yahoo's future will include a focus on search.


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