• Tue, Sep 4 2012

For Yahoo, It Is Alright If Marissa Mayer Is Being A Micromanager

Marissa Mayer is now reviewing every potential new hire that applies for a job at Yahoo, according to Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson. Her level of involvement is slowing down the hiring process and costing the company some  good candidates but considering Yahoo’s past, a micromanaged hiring process may be just what the company needs.

One employee told TBI that having her have to look at every new hire has caused them to lose out on two hires just because of slowness. But the Yahoo board and employees should have known how involved Marissa was in every decision of her company when they hired her. According to Technology-Digital, Mayer is “known as a talented manager with an occasionally over analytical style that can make her difficult to work for, according to people who have worked under her. She has an obsessive attention to detail, often micromanaging details down to the shade of colors in new product designs, people say.” That is what she is doing with the hiring process.

This is how Marissa does her job and it may just be what Yahoo needs. Both Google and Facebook have been beating Yahoo  in the battle for Web surfers’ attention and advertisers’ marketing budgets for a few years now. As a result its financial and stock price have dropped dramatically.  The stock has been slumping since Yahoo Inc. turned down a chance sell itself to Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion, or $33 per share, in May 2008.

But another part of Yahoo’s problems  is that it has been hiring the wrong people and keeping them on too long, according to TBI. Plus, Marissa is known for bringing on talented individuals that improve a company. Steven Levy of Wired.com wrote:

“Yahoo’s talent pool has been reduced to puddles, as the best techies have gone elsewhere and promising newcomers have come down with colorblindness when it comes to purple.  Some people wonder whether even Mayer can lure back the brains.

For the past decade, she has been the doyen of a collection of some of the most talented young engineers and product managers in all of technology. These are the hand-selected prime talents of an accelerated leadership program at Google called Associate Product Manager(APM).

Mayer invented this program, led it and never gave it up. It was a key part of her tenure at Google. And now she may reap some benefits.”

Marissa has already brought on a number of her former Google colleagues and has developed a deep connection to over three hundred of most talented tech people in Silicon Valley because of the APM program. So if the company misses out on a good hire, Marissa has plenty of good people in her rolodex to call on. Micromanaging is usually frowned upon but in this case I think Marissa’s colleagues should cut her some slack.

Photo: DA5/ WENN.com

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  • Lastango

    It’s not micromanaging if what you’re paying attention to is the thing that matters most. For instance, if Mayer has certain projects in mind and doesn’t think the existing Yahoo team can get the job done quickly and properly then she needs to put time into getting the right talent aboard.
    Investors should be pleased, because her diving in there shows she understands Yahoo is in survival mode and the clock is ticking.
    ======
    (IMO she won’t be able to save Yahoo, but maybe she can create islands of value that can be sold off, allowing investors to salvage something when the ship inevitably sinks.)

  • Lastango

    It’s not micromanaging if what you’re paying attention to is the thing that matters most. For instance, if Mayer has certain projects in mind and doesn’t think the existing Yahoo team can get the job done quickly and properly then she needs to put time into getting the right talent aboard.
    Investors should be pleased, because her diving in there shows she understands Yahoo is in survival mode and the clock is ticking.
    ======
    (IMO she won’t be able to save Yahoo, but maybe she can create islands of value that can be sold off, allowing investors to salvage something when the ship inevitably sinks.)