Strife at Yahoo: Board Plays Coy, But Mayer Forges On

By Kyle Piscioniere February 03, 2016

Yahoo has never really recovered its initial dot-com glory. Now, the company is faltering and ready to be stripped for parts. Yet somehow, against all odds, counsel, and expectation, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer wants to press on—but Yahoo’s board may undermine her with a bid to sell the Silicon Valley-based company.

After Yahoo’s lackluster Q4 report came out earlier this week, the company was widely expected to put itself on the auction block. According to rumors and speculation, Microsoft, Verizon, and private equity firms could all be looking at a potential buy.

Now, everyone talking about Yahoo’s sale is focused on one source: Yahoo’s chairman of the board Maynard Webb’s recent statement. Webb, in his Q4 statement, said, “The Board…believes that exploring additional strategic alternatives, in parallel to the execution of the management plan, is in the best interest of our shareholders…we will engage on qualified strategic proposals.”

Analysts are suggesting that Webb’s “strategic proposals” are chairman-speak for “we’re holding an open house.” It wouldn’t be the first time the board has wanted to sell the company. Before Mayer took the helm, the option was heavily considered by investors and the board.

But Mayer is making incredibly bold moves in an effort to prove Yahoo’s current worth. She sees the future differently. She imagines a stripped down Yahoo. Spin off the baggage, lighten the ship, she says, and Yahoo will sail on.

That’s why she’s proposed such an aggressive strategy for the upcoming year. Mayer will lay off 15 percent of Yahoo’s workforce, close five international offices, and tighten operations. She’ll also spin off some of Yahoo’s services that have failed to catch the cultural eye, including Yahoo Games and Yahoo Smart TV. Yahoo’s digital magazines will also take a hit as several titles are consolidated.

Realistically, Yahoo will probably be forced to sell. It’s hard to imagine the company pulling itself out of the quicksand. But Mayer is a successful and extremely competent CEO; her vision may be possible, even if the board is ultimately unwilling to see it through. 




Edited by Maurice Nagle
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More