All eyes were on Marissa Mayer when she was first hired as President and CEO of Yahoo last July 12, 2012. Mayer was one of the first 20 members of Google, and rose to became one of its top female executives so her move to its rival, which was already ailing at that time after ceding so much search engine territory to Google, was seen as a major coup. She was hailed as a savior and was expected to turn Yahoo around.
Employee Satisfaction Rating
One of Mayer’s publicly stated steps in turning Yahoo around is to make the company a more enjoyable place to work for, which is one of the key characteristics being cited as the reasons why Mayer’s previous employer has prospered so much. Mayer seems to have stayed true to her word, providing improved perks for employees, such as providing high end laptops for employees, as well as various office-related amenities and bonuses. It certainly did the trick, according to job site Glass Door, which provides feedback and reviews from anonymous employees of thousands of companies.
According to Glass Door’s statistics, Yahoo under Mayer has had its highest approval level in five years, netting a 3.7 out of 5 in three of the four quarters under Mayer’s watch. While it’s still far below Google’s 4.1 approval rating on Glass Door, Mayer is still ranking higher than her predecessors – Mayer had a cumulative 84 percent rating so far, while previous CEOs Carol Bartz and Scott Thompson had ratings in the low 30 percent range.
It’s not all positive feedback from employees, though. There are a lot of employees who have criticized Mayer’s decision to crack down on telecommuting and their infamously long hiring approval process. Others have also faulted several cases where employees where laid off while on vacation. These moves don’t sit well with the employees, but it seems to be backed by board members and Mayer was praised for being strict when it comes to “cutting off the fat” from the company.
Yahoo’s Acquisitions Under Mayer
Mayer has also laid out plans to acquire smaller companies that align well with Yahoo’s business, which is something that she has done during her long tenure at Google. So far, Mayer has already acquired 10 different companies; the most recent one being Loki Studios, which is a mobile gaming company touted as having strong “community and location-based mobile services.” The list is rounded up by previous Mayer acquisitions Stamped, OntheAir, Snip.it, Alike, Jybe, Summly, Astrid, GoPollGo, and Milewise.
Not everybody is a big fan of Mayer’s choice of acquisitions, with Pando Daily even poking fun at Yahoo as a “safe haven for VC rejects.” However, some industry experts posit that the acquisitions Mayer did were not really for technology, but for the talent. The only exception being Summly, which has had its technology already incorporated into Yahoo products.
This is further supported by the fact that majority of the startups that were bought by Yahoo have since been shut down, with their employees being absorbed into Yahoo’s mobile organizations. This points to one thing: Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo is on a path towards the mobile industry, where the playing field is still fair game and has not been dominated by Google yet.