Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Takes This 500 Million Dollar Bet

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), which had its heyday around Y2K, recently brought on ex-Googler Marissa Mayer as President and CEO, and she’s been making headlines ever since.

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At the end of August, she announced a program called PB&J (Process, Bureaucracy, and Jams) which is aimed at injecting energy and efficiency into Yahoo’s workplace culture. “What’s on your wish list for our corporate culture and work environment?” she asks. Coming from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Mayer knows what a revolutionary and innovative work environment is like. Among minor controversy, Mayer has begun reviewing every new serious hire for Yahoo, a strategy Google’s cofounders have always done. With about 15,000 employees, this is no small task.

Most recently, and most controversially, Mayer decided not to sell its ad-tech business Right Media, which it was planning to do before her arrival. The company was presumably being looked at by Accenture (NYSE:ACN), IBM (NYSE:IBM), and Google and could have fetched a sale price anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion.

Right Media has been struggling against competitors in the space (like Google), but Yahoo’s chief revenue officer Michael Barrett said, “Yahoo is committed to being a primary player in the ad-technology space and Right Media is part of that strategy.”

There is speculation that if Yahoo sold Right Media and outsourced its remnant advertising sales to Google it could cut 2,000 jobs and raise its EBITA by as much as 50%. That is, $650 million on top of $1.31 billion over the last 12 months.

Yahoo’s stock is up 0.73 percent today.

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