Marissa Mayer has made a lot of bad decisions as CEO of Yahoo but the struggling web property can be salvaged and can even thrive if a CEO with vision and leadership takes charge. Here is what I believe needs to be done to revitalize Yahoo..
1ne: Sell off acquisitions made by Mayer that don’t directly add value to the Yahoo brand and its users.
2wo: Sell of Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba by hiring prudent tax attorneys who can help manage the possible tax implications.
3hree: Revitalize Yahoo’s home page by using content so magnetic that people want to visit the page numerous times during the day. When we wake up in the morning most people have a list of websites they visit. Yahoo should partner with other online/offline media to be a portal entrance for these properties. Imagine a page that shows you your favorite news, social media updates, weather and sports scores all on one page. It can be done, but it’s going to require a lot of research and usability studies.
4our: Make Yahoo mail the best online mail by flanking shortcomings in Gmail and Outlook.
5ive: Flank search competitors by doing what they can’t. This means search results that are more user friendly as defined by users and applying those findings to an algorithm that differentiates Yahoo search. It won’t happen overnight, but it can be done by hiring and using smart people.
6ix: Hire a CEO who can lead by example. This means that he/she won’t be paid tens of millions of dollars, meet regularly with the rank and file and reward hard work with perks that people really care about.
7even: Relocate Yahoo HQ out of California. OK, I know California is where all the tech talent is but it’s also very hard to live in an area where even small apartments are going for over a million dollars. I would keep a small office to recruit people and for some essential business functions, but having a HQ in an area where people can actually live would go a long way to help recruit and keep people.
8ight: Develop a business solutions group. Their job would be to help advertisers navigate, what they see, as the complex world of online marketing via customized solutions tied to metrics that online advertisers actually care about.
9ine: Get rid of all Mayer’s hires and replace them with pirates who can innovate and think outside the box.
10en: As business comes back use excess cash to buy back stock. Investors only care about short term gains and don’t have the patience for strategic leadership.
It’s going to take some time to build up morale in an office where the Yahoo brand was all about the CEO not the property but don’t feel bad, Ms Mayer will leave with a $50 million severance package.