Will Marissa Mayer’s Strategy Shake Things Up at Yahoo?
Marissa Mayer held the floor at several points of the past week. Between a Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) earnings call, her speech at the Great Place to Work conference, and the announcement Yahoo was shaking up its product list, the company’s chief executive had the chance to speak her peace and made it clear she’s sticking with her strategy.
That strategy involves cutting several services while introducing new products aimed at changing the company’s image. As for Yahoo products on the chopping block, they include an events calendar, a coupon site, the Yahoo Kids program and mobile apps for its email and messenger services. All in all, analysts consider these products worthy of their fate.
On the new product front, observers are curious to see how the Yahoo Weather for iPhone and, to a lesser extent, Yahoo Mail for iPad apps perform. Mayer noted that her goal is to give customers “something that you really love” in hopes they’ll give other products in the Yahoo fold a chance. Overall, it seems the only way to go for the company as it tries to claw its way back in both earnings and overall company perception. On the latter topic, Yahoo’s chief executive spoke for the first time publicly on her controversial “back to the office” call for a small segment of company employees…
As she told the Great Place to Work audience Friday, Mayer believes that people are more creative — if less productive — when they are working among talented peers. To succeed in that department, she has tried to make Yahoo just that — an attractive place to go to work. Changes in travel/expenses policies were well-received, as was Mayer’s decision to offer free food in the office, but critics are still weighing in on Mayer’s insistence that 200 of the company’s 12,000 employees do their work in Yahoo’s offices.
As Patricia Sellers pointed out in a Fortune blog, the bad perception was chiefly a product of the way Mayer delivered the message. She mentioned that the new weather app was an example of the way working in the office is ideal for Yahoo’s goals. “Some of the best ideas come from pulling different ideas together,” she told the conference. As Yahoo makes its move with Mayer at the helm, the two-pronged approach to improving perception and the product roster has begun.
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