After more than ten years at Google Marissa Mayer left the position she held in Mountain View, in order to pursue a different career as the Yahoo’s Chief Executive Officer. This is a giant step for her career and for her personal aims. With this decision she is going to have a lot of responsabilities and her target will be to rescue a company that seems to be almost dead.
Yahoo started in a remarkable way its tech journey at the same time of Google. However the wrong decisions and the wrong projects didn’t let the company follow the same path Google has been able to achieve in the past fifteen years. In this way, Yahoo’s shares went down and the initial momentum started decreasing.
In the last five months the situation seemed to be decreased drastically since the former CEO was substituted by an interim one, cause he cheated on his own curriculum. This showed the instability of the Yahoo’s ecosystem and the wrong decisions undertaken by the board of directors. However the board responded to this uncertain period with an impressive act: they hired Marissa Mayer, a woman, under forty and pregnant.
Now the internet is wondering what the next steps are in order to succeed and bring back that innovation that Yahoo has lost during the year. The latest project launched by Yahoo is Axis, which we have recently covered with a really critical analysis since it seemed something unhelpful for this company. This is what Marissa Mayer has to do in the next few months, analyzing and cutting the projects in which the company is spending millions of dollars without having the right revenues back.
On the other hand many people wonder what companies the new CEO has to acquire in order to re-launch Yahoo in the market. However I don’t think this is the right solution to innovate a company such as Yahoo. In order to innovate, you don’t need to buy other people’s ideas, but you need to gain value and the best employees. In the moment you build the right ecosystem and hire the right people, you would have the value you looked for when you thought to buy other people’s ideas.
Great ideas come from a company and not from an acquisition. If the people who are around you believe in what you believe, they will innovate and love the company in which they are working. It is just a matter of environment and people and not a matter of money. Money and acquisitions can not solve a problem, they can just keep alive this insane capitalistic view. This is what Facebook is doing with mobile.
This is what I answered on Quora a week ago:
Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo CEO (July 2012): What company acquisitions should Marissa Mayer pursue as CEO of Yahoo?
I really don’t understand why many people think that in order to relaunch a company you need to acquire another company. In my humble opinion she shouldn’t acquire anything at this stage. If I were the executive I would remove some senseless projects which now are dead (such as Yahoo Answer – a place in which I can just understand if my penis is too small).
Then I woud gain those energies that I have lost during these years, following bad ideas, and with those engineers I would lead innovation in Silicon Valley. With the money I have got by cutting some senseless project, I can form a mini startup inside my company, whose aim is “to see farther, standing on the shoulders of giants”.
It is not a matter of which company you acquire, but who you hire. I believe that if your company is falling apart, you will need to hire the 20 best engineers and innovate. Those who buy companies don’t have ideas.