February 4, 2016

Yahoo: CEO Marissa Mayer proves she doesn't get it. She needs to go. Pronto.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer needs to go.  
As in out the Yahoo door.  

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer needs to go.  Pronto.
I've posted about Yahoo before, including mention of frustrations some of my financial planning clients (as well as yours truly) have about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's ongoing inability to right the slowly sinking Yahoo ship.  (Disclosure:  I own Yahoo stock.)  Poking pieces of chewed bubble gum in the leaks ain't gonna work, Ms. Mayer, just as the tactic failed to work at the Hoover Dam in National Lampoon's Las Vegas Vacation movie.  (One of my favorite just-fun-to-watch movies, by the way.)  Yahoo needs to refocus and reinvent itself.  On Tuesday, Marissa Mayer proved she is incapable of the leadership, vision, and tenacity needed to tackle the task.

As reported in the San Jose Mercury News and elsewhere, on a Tuesday conference call Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced that Yahoo will shed an additional 15% of its work force and explore "strategic alternatives".  She neglected to define what she means by "strategic alternatives", but the alternatives are largely thought to be the sale or public stock spin-offs of some Yahoo divisions.

And then came the point in which my final tattered shred of confidence I had been grasping for Mayer was flushed down the toilet.  She stated:
"The vision for Yahoo isn't changing.  Digital content is our differentiation."
And therein lies the problem.  Ms. Mayer, how blind are you not to see that Yahoo's vision MUST change for the company to thrive, and for the company to perhaps simply survive.  Clearly today's Yahoo is failing; the company lost an eye popping $4.4 billion just last quarter. Yahoo's digital content may attract users and readers, but that is not equating to corporate financial success, and clearly has not for years.  Why can't you accept current failure and make the necessary changes to right the course?  Simply terminating employees and reducing payroll is not the single savior you need.

And there you have it.   Hopefully Yahoo's Board of Directors and Shareholders will have the sense to give Marissa Mayer the boot, and bring on a CEO with a bold hired gun mentality who is not afraid to act.  A person with the vision and focus necessary to right Yahoo's course.   Otherwise, I envision Yahoo becoming much like dial-up Internet connections and rotary telephones: a discarded relic of the past.

For information about my nationwide Consulting, Expert Witness, and Tax Services visit Fouts Financial Group.

Mary Rae Fouts

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