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Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!, and the Google effect

by On May 28, 2013
Marissa Mayer

When Marissa Mayer took over as CEO of Yahoo!, it was a catalyst for change. Having lost their way long ago, the former champions of search were in desperate need of transformation. With Meyers at the helm, the Yahoo! ship is now changing direction, but to what end? If all their recent moves (and rumored acquisitions) are any indication, Yahoo! may not want to be Yahoo! for much longer.

Where Yahoo! went wrong

Yahoo! was founded in 1994 by college friends Jerry Yang and David Filo. The goal was to give the internet a little structure, and focus, by organizing search results. In a time of Ask Jeeves, Lycos, and Netscape, Yahoo! was a refreshingly straightforward approach. It was easier on the eyes, gave better results, and later lumped in services like email to make it the first one-stop internet portal for many of us.

Over time, the sizable number of acquisitions by Yahoo! clouded the focus it began with. A company that started with such a simple concept soon found itself bloated, broke, and bartering for survival. Spending money to make money is not new thinking, but Yahoo! only got half of that right. Acquisitions that were later shelved or shuttered left Yahoo! with no return on investment, and the added bulk only served to weigh them down when they could least afford it.

The advent of Google, with their incredible search algorithm, left Yahoo! in another bind. Like any search engine ir web portal, Yahoo! relies on selling advertising space for much of their revenue. Even with a 3 year jump on Google, Yahoo! was caught off guard by Larry and Sergey. The two companies were on a different arc, with Google breaking ground on an empire, and Yahoo! digging through the rubble of theirs.

Google staff

Number 20

Mayer has the distinction of being employee number 20 at Google, as well as its first female engineer. Mayer was instrumental in many key services like GMail and Search, famously keeping the Google landing page subtle. She seemed to be everything a company could hope for: beautiful, bright, and bold. There was, however, a point in which she reached waters at Google she couldn’t navigate successfully.

Schmidt, Page, and the management shakeup

While Larry Page and Sergey Brin were finding their way within Google, Eric Schmidt was the defacto “adult supervision”. A tried and true CEO, Schmidt had a very vanilla way of organizing the company. The structure suited Mayer, and left her with a very clear and concise trajectory to follow in her quest for greatness.

As Schmidt moved away from the helm, and Page regained control, the Google universe shifted. The new CEO, a founder along with Brin, had a very clear idea on what Google should be. As with many management shifts, the structure changed. Schmidt, for instance, had an oversight committee, which Page almost immediately disbanded. That committee, which Mayer sat on, had a direct hand in the direction of perhaps …read more

Via: Android Authority

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