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Mayer wants Yahoo to be part of your every day life

Sharon Gaudin | Sept. 27, 2012
When Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer talked to company employees Tuesday, she reportedly talked about making Yahoo part of people's everyday lives.

When Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer spoke to company employees Tuesday, she reportedly talked about making Yahoo part of people's everyday lives.

She didn't, however, explain how she plans to do that.

Industry analysts, though, were quick to say that now isn't necessarily the time for Mayer to lay out specifics of her turnaround plan. Now is the time to energize Yahoo's employees and investors. But they're hoping that's exactly what Mayer did.

"Marissa Mayer did what she had to do in articulating the broad directions of a fresh strategy for Yahoo that is focused, understandable, appears to leverage the most important industry trends, and gives employees and stakeholders a reason to be optimistic," said Hadley Reynolds, an analyst with NextEra Research. "None of these things had been apparent prior to her arrival."

On Tuesday, Mayer reportedly held two meetings to accommodate employees in different time zones. Her goal was to let employees in on her strategy to turn around Yahoo, which has been struggling for market position, a leadership swinging door and an executive scandal.

The company did not release details of what Mayer said Tuesday. A Yahoo spokeswoman told Computerworld on Tuesday that the company will lay out some of the company's long-term strategies during Yahoo's earnings call in mid-October.

Despite Yahoo's efforts, word of Mayer's meetings has begun to leak out.

According to a report in All Things D, Mayer stuck to the big picture during her speech. The report said the CEO told employees she wants to focus on building a strong mobile platform, personalization and making Yahoo a part of people's everyday lives.

Reynolds said he had no problem with the reported lack of specifics that Mayer offered.

"The fact that she was not long on details is appropriate at this stage," he added. "She hasn't been on the scene long enough to be talking down in the weeds, and she shouldn't from the CEO seat in any event. The talent that she will be bringing in will have to own many of those details. They will need to talk about them within a quarter or two, but not right now."

However, Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said he would have liked Mayer to fill in a few of the blank spots.

"On the surface, what Mayer is describing is what a 1,000 Internet companies could describe," he said. "What will be vitally important is how Yahoo differentiates what they do in mobile ... and that's possible but not probable. They are a decade behind Google and Facebook. Very rarely does a company come behind after sitting out so long to become the leader."


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