Yahoo New CEO Marissa Mayer: Rebuilding Mobile Strategy Is ‘Top Priority’

NEW YORK | Monday, October 22nd, 2012 10:15pm EDT

It’s the first time Yahoo new CEO Marissa Mayer to outline her vision for getting the ailing Web company back on its feet.

Yahoo Inc’s new chief executive said the web giant needs a strategic reassessment, including fixing its broken mobile strategy, and is progressing to a brighter future as a reinvigorated consumer Internet company. Photo: AksgeekLive/Flickr

Mayer, who made her first appearance as CEO on an earnings conference call Oct. 22, revealed that her “top priority” is to rebuild Yahoo’s mobile strategy in which the Internet company has “underinvested” while mobile is the fastest-growing area of the Internet.

“I’m thrilled to be here at Yahoo,” said Ms Mayer, who was had previously worked in Google where she was a high profile executive for 13 years. “Yahoo is a truly iconic company.”

The first few minutes of the call Mayer spent explaining with enthusiasm why in her first 100 days as CEO she’s focused so much of her energy on hiring new executives and bolstering Yahoo’s internal company culture.

She suggests that the human element is the key to bringing Yahoo back to its one-time spot as a top consumer Internet company.

“My goals are simple: To execute faster, hire top talent, and make Yahoo the absolute best place to work,” Mayer said.

Yahoo CEO said that besides offering perks, she intends to improve employees’ “efficiency, well-being, and accountability” through things like new feedback tools, reduced corporate bureacracy, and more specific performance measurement and goal metrics.

As Tech Crunch reports, she also touted her many new executive suite hires such as CMO Kathy Savitt, CFO Ken Goldman, COO Henrique de Castro, and EVP of HR and talent Jacqueline Reses.

“We’ve built a stellar world-class leadership team,” Ms Mayer said, adding, “In Yahoo Fantasy Sports, I would draft this exact group as my dream team.”

But later in the call she announced that in many ways, the hard work is just beginning right now. “With the leadership and guidance of our new management team, now it’s time to execute.”

Ms Mayer revealed she believes a big factor in the company’s turnaround will be restoring a sense of focus to the company’s products.

She suggested that mobile is the first department to become cohesion, explaining that Yahoo operates a whopping 76 apps across Android and iOS is evidence of a “splintered” mobile brand presence that needs to be brought together.

“Our top priority is a focused, coherent mobile strategy,” Mayer said, adding that this is a big issue since “at some point [in the near future] we’ll have to be a predominantly mobile company.”

In her comments the new CEO obviously meant that at least half of Yahoo’s staff will need strong mobile skills. This will be developed through hiring new people and training existing staff, The 37-year-old CEO said.

Ms Mayer suggested one more strategy, aimed on working more closely with software provider Microsoft Corp, while employing technology to shore up its display ads business through such features as automated buying, The Star writes.

Yahoo CEO predicted that the company is likely to begin withdrawing from international businesses that fail to grow. According to executives, this month the company will pull out of South Korea, a market full of local rivals.

Yahoo shares were up more than 4 percent at $16.50 in after hours trading on Monday, reports claim.

“She handled the call very well,” said Gabelli & Co analyst Brett Harriss. “You have the tone of a professional CEO who just wants to block and tackle better and move the company forward.”

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