During the regrettable five month reign of former CEO Scott Thompson, Yahoos rarely saw him on campus. In stark contrast to her predecessor, new CEO Marissa Mayer is often spotted in the cafeteria and at FYI (Yahoo happy hours) every Friday when execs showcase their products. You’d be an idiot not to stay a little while, at least to take in the Marissa spectacle.
However, despite atmosphere of excitement due to the arrival of a morale-boosting celebrity CEO, a few Yahoo employees continue to feel trepidation about company strategy, or lack thereof. After all, it’s been more than eight months since the company had a clear direction to march toward, and it still doesn’t.
But it seems that the new executive is, smartly, taking a few cues from other well-respected founder-CEOs.
When Marissa announced free lunch, she channeled the Apple founder by referencing “One More Thing” (Steve Jobs).
She plans to review and approve each hire (Larry Page).
She shuns PowerPoint and asks VPs to explain their products by drawing on the whiteboard (Jeff Bezos – when you present to Jeff, you write it in prose).
AllThingsD reported that she’s hiring a COO to run the business side, freeing her up to focus on product and innovation (Mark Zuckerberg).
It will be interesting to see what happens to the beleaguered company when a product-driven, consumer-focused CEO is running the show. I, for one, can’t wait to meet her at Disrupt SF. I also look forward to the day when Marissa finally resolves the decade-old question – “Is Yahoo a technology or a media company?” Because she’s already banned, “What is Yahoo?”