Can Marissa Mayer Save Yahoo?

A similar type of query arose sometime ago when Lee Iococca joined Chrysler Corporation as CEO, only to find that the Corporation had no money to pay that month’s salary to its staff members. However, with Lee’s efficient handling, Chrysler eventually became a profit earning car manufacturer in the United States.

Nevertheless, with Yahoo, it’s a different kettle of fish. In fact, nobody; I repeat nobody –both outsiders and insiders do not quite know what Yahoo is all about.  It has a long list of acquiring and dumping companies – spending millions of dollars in these frivolous deals.

However, Yahoo now is in pretty bad shape when people in the Silicon Valley are indeed getting ready to hear Yahoo swan song. And at this un-opportune moment, the brilliant Google star Marissa Mayer left her secure position with the search giant to take up the wheel of a sinking ship called Yahoo! But the burning question that raises its head today is Can Marissa Mayer save Yahoo?Even though only time can tell whether Marissa will be able to save Yahoo from destruction looming large in not too distant future, the steps taken by the new CEO looks quite promising. For instance, she has already been able to restore faith among her engineers who are the backbones of the company. In fact, these engineers who write the code that makes the company function are now more optimistic about their future as compared to their counterparts in the valley.

Around 68 percent of the engineers working at Yahoo anticipate that things will get better over the next six months, as reflected in Glassdoor, a website that publishes ‘insider assessments of life at thousands of Corporations’. The percentage that think things are getting worse at Yahoo is 29 percent, while in Apple it is 38 percent.      

It’s a sign that Marissa Mayer is making the right moves to keep her engineering staff happy, says Scott Dobroski, a Glassdoor community expert. Mayer has made some controversial moves, like cutting back on work-from-home privileges. But still, engineers at the company are remarkably optimistic.“They’re very impressed by Marissa Mayer’s leadership,” says Dobroski. “They appreciate her cutting some of the under-performing engineers, while she’s rewarding software engineers very handsomely.”

What’s more, Yahoo’s stock has doubled during the past year, although the revenues — $1.09 billion for the most recent quarter — are down. To be precise, a year into Mayer’s tenure, the best thing Yahoo has going for it remains its 24 percent stake in Asian e-commerce giant Alibaba (her pet project). It’s expected to IPO next year.

However, these are only a part of activity shown by Marissa to wake up a sleeping lion called Yahoo that can not only revive with Marissa’s excellent moves but is likely to be back to its Number One position pretty soon.