• Mon, Dec 17 2012

Marissa Mayer Doesn’t Mess Around When She Wants Someone Gone

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Marissa Mayer plays hardball with people leaving Yahoo.

If a top executive wants to quit, Mayer does not do them the favor of paying them a big severance package to leave.

She waits for them to quit on their own.

That’s what happened to former Yahoo ad boss Michael Barrett.

In a similar vein, when Mayer wants to replace someone, she does it fast – often hiring the replacement first, and firing second.

That’s what happened to former CMO Mollie Spillman and CFO Tim Morse.

This kind of decisiveness is smart, and certainly shareholders appreciate Mayer’s dedication to frugality.

But there is one kind of executive Mayer needs to be careful with: the ones who come into the company through acquisition.

Last year, Yahoo bought an ad tech company called Interclick for $270 million.

Less than a year later, Yahoo parted ways with Interclick founder Michael Katz on Friday – days before he was to get a 12-month retention bonus.

The reason to be careful is that Yahoo already has a poor reputation among tech industry entrepreneurs.

Over the past years, Yahoo has had a very hard time convincing them to join the company.

Two quick examples are Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley and Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, who turned down buyout offers from Yahoo (and personal riches to last generations) simply because they thought it would be a terrible place to work.

To finish reading this post, head over to Business Insider.
To finish reading this post, head over to Business Insider.

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  • Lastango

    Actually, top executives of takeovers hardly ever stick around, especially the entrepreneurs. That’s true in any industry, and even if their companies are going to be stand-alone divisions after acquisition.

    And Yahoo! probably is a terrible place to work. I stand by my view that it’s a sinking ship. My best guess is that Mayer’s job is to salvage at least some shareholder value by making Yahoo! at attractive takeover target. That means lopping off the losing parts and polishing the good parts. Then the good parts go on the auction block, either as a whole or individually. Personally, I don’t think it can be done, and if I had Yahoo! shares I’d sell them today and never look back.