Thursday, September 20, 2012

Was Mayer's Hand Forced?

If it was, she is saddled with a Board that does not wish to win - (yes, that's possible). If she wasn't, I don't think she is the next Steve Jobs. Giving billions away to shareholders is too big a mistake at this juncture of Yahoo's history. I guess Yahoo will stay in the middle leagues.

I am not writing her off. I am not writing Yahoo off. I think she deserves something like three years before judgment should be passed. What I am saying is this was a bad move. The cash should not have been returned.

Marissa Mayer Was Not Forced By Yahoo's Board To Return Cash To Shareholders
Mayer wanted to use the cash to buy and make cool products and, thus, make Yahoo a Silicon Valley powerhouse again ..... some tech observers concluded that Marissa Mayer is little more than a popular puppet and that the board is really running the company ..... the decision to return ~$3 billion of cash to shareholders was Mayer's decision, albeit one that was supported and desired by the board..... Later, after conducting the necessary analysis, Mayer decided that returning ~$3 billion of the proceeds to shareholders did, actually, make sense, so she proposed that plan to the board. And the board accepted it...... Even after the cash is returned, Yahoo will have more than $3 billion of cash. It will also likely generate some more cash from the sale of the rest of the Alibaba stake and the sale of its stake in Yahoo Japan. And it's still generating more than $1 billion of cash a year.
It Looks Like Yahoo's Board Kind Of Screwed Over Marissa Mayer This Week
Can Marissa Mayer pull off a Steve Jobs, who began turning Apple around by launching the bondi Blue iMac, and really made things work with the miraculous iPod? .... Mayer, the board believes, is the next Steve Jobs. ..... Yahoo's iPod, by the way, won't likely be a hardware product--it will be software. And it will probably be a bunch of products, all designed to make Yahoo and better content and advertising platform ...... a gadget that disintermediates the smartphone the way Google Glass might. It could buy several startups that make popular mobile applications that have growing engagement with normal, non-techy Americans ...... This particular act of largesse happens to very much benefit one of Yahoo's biggest shareholders, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb, who, incidentally, was instrumental in bringing in Marissa Mayer as CEO....... Loeb happens to also be a Yahoo board member. In fact, by the accounts of several insiders, Loeb is doing the job that a board chairman does, even if that title actually belongs to another board member, Fred Amoroso...... will still leave Mayer with more than $3 billion to work with ..... a lot of cash for a ~$5 billion business ..... still seems odd that Loeb would make the short term cash grab and restrict Yahoo's flexibility. And Mayer might be feeling a little screwed over because of it. It also makes you wonder who is really in charge at Yahoo...... there is a way for her to add about another $2 billion to $3 billion to her cash pile by selling off Yahoo Japan and the rest of the Alibaba stake
Yahoo! Closes $7.6B Alibaba Deal as Marissa Mayer Gets Down to Business
Yahoo! has struggled to come up with a coherent business strategy ..... there are signs of renewed vigor at the company, as Mayer lays the foundation for the “Marissa era.” ..... for the first time in years, Yahoo!’s fortunes seem to be on the rise ...... An accomplished engineer with a sharp eye for design, Mayer joined Google in 1999 after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stanford University, where she specialized in artificial intelligence. At Google, Mayer built a reputation as a brilliant and intense executive with a passion for the “the user experience.” She played a major role in developing Google’s iconic search box layout, and would eventually become responsible for many of Google’s most successful products, including Gmail, Google News, and Google Maps...... a weekly all-hands meeting on Fridays — a classic Google practice ..... Mayer’s real challenge will be outlining a vision and strategy for the company’s turn-around, not to mention actually executing on that strategy. ...... we are still waiting for the new CEO and her team to layout a strategy to revitalize the company
With billions of dollars from the Alibaba deal, what should Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer do next?
By no means has she righted the ship, but she has, for the moment, encouraged critics to hit the mute button. ..... Turn Yahoo into a local commerce juggernaut. .... Local commerce remains the Web's great white whale. It is an enormous opportunity. But no company has fully been able to capture it. The best way for Yahoo to do that would be to use the windfall from the Alibaba deal to quickly gobble up three high-profile companies that could become the foundation of a local commerce strategy: Groupon, Yelp and Foursquare. ..... buy Mayer more time to clarify where she wants to take Yahoo. ..... Rather than chasing something like search or social that is owned by someone else (Google and Facebook), local commerce remains wide open. ..... Groupon's current market value is $3.07 billion. Yelp is currently worth $1.47 billion. Foursquare, which is still private, is reportedly valued at $600 million. That's more than $4 billion, plus the likely need to pay a premium over these prices.
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