Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's One-Year Report Card

Published: Aug 10, 2013 06:53:22 AM IST
Updated: Aug 7, 2013 03:01:44 PM IST
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's One-Year Report Card
Image: Lucas Jackson / Reuters
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Unlike her three predecessors, Marissa Mayer has now managed to make it through an entire year as the Yahoo CEO. She even got a $1.1 million bonus halfway through. Did she earn it? Shares are up 80 percent, thanks mainly to Yahoo’s appreciating stake in Chinese internet phenom Alibaba, but doubts persist, especially after activist investor Daniel Loeb announced he was selling most of his stake back to the company. Here’s how her freshman year went:

Products: B–  A revamped home page is more real-time and social. Mail got a facelift, as did some mobile apps and Flickr. Mayer axed at least two dozen old products. But there’s still no killer app, and holes remain in mobile, social, video and automated ad buying.

Earnings: C  Revenue, flat since 2011, fell 7 percent to $1.14 billion in the second quarter. Profit jumped, but most of it comes from how Yahoo accounts for its share of Alibaba earnings. Beyond vague promises of a year-end lift, Mayer isn’t saying when things will improve.

Acquisitions: B  She’s on a shopping spree, with 17 small acquisitions and one blockbuster, $1.1 billion for Tumblr. She’s still eyeing ad tech and consumer services.

Morale: B+  Mayer has made Yahoo a destination workplace again, importing engineering and product-management talent from Google. Her approval rating on the employee rating site Glassdoor is 84 percent, despite her controversial ban on working from home.

(This story appears in the 23 August, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)