Yahoo!’s CEO Fighting to Keep Her Job
News stories in Business Insider and other sites report Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, is battling with the Board of Directors. Reportedly she may be arranging a deal to take the Internet pioneer private, with herself remaining as its head.
Marissa Mayer left Google and took over Yahoo around three years ago. Despite the many changes Mayer has implemented and the 40 companies she bought for $3 billion, Yahoo has shrunk. She has brought in new talent and developed mobile apps and services, but has failed to increase revenues. Advertisers are spending a lot more money online, but most of it is going to Facebook and Google, not Yahoo. Since the end of 2014, its share price has dropped by 40%.
Early in February, Mayer announced cost-cutting measures. She was laying off 1,700 employees, about 15% of the staff. She was closing offices in Dubai, Mexico City, Madrid, UAE, Milan and Buenos Aires. She said she would also sell off real estate, patents, Yahoo Games, some of the digital magazines and Yahoo TV. She also dumped its research center, Yahoo Labs. She estimated the cuts would save $400 million a year and the product sales would raise from $1-3 billion.
Reportedly SpringOwl Asset Management, one of Yahoo’s large shareholders, decided Mayer needed to be added to the list of laid-off employees.
Most recently, Yahoo’s board has been looking at selling the company. Reportedly AT&T, Comcast and Verizon and others would be interested. SunTrust Analyst Robert Peck wrote that more than 20 potential buyers have expressed interest, but were frustrated. Reportedly, however, Mayer’s friend Frank Quattrone, who is an investment banker, is approaching private equity firms about buying Yahoo’s core business. Meanwhile, a proxy battle with Starboard Value, a hedge fund, is shaping up. Starboard Value has demanded a change in CEO and the sale of the company.
Mayer reportedly is flying to New York to talk to large shareholders Mason Capital and Millennium Partners. The board created a committee of its own to seek out “independent alternatives,” which means selling Yahoo’s core business.
Jerry Yang and David Filo started Yahoo! in 1994 just as a manual list of websites. It was the first search engine and Internet giant company.
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