Marissa Mayer Brings Hope to Yahoo

marissa-mayer-hope-posterMarissa Mayer’s arrival as Yahoo’s new CEO has Yahoos hopeful. Literally. One Yahoo was inspired to create a “Hope” poster reminiscent of the iconic Shepard Fairey posters created during the 2008 presidential campaign for candidate Barack Obama.

Rather than the red, beige and blue pastels, the poster of Mayer adorning the hallways in Sunnyvale, California (as posted by Dave Dunstan on Facebook), is mainly purple, as you’d expect considering it’s Yahoo’s signature color.

Some at Yahoo are elated by Mayer’s arrival; some are just happy she gets her own lunch in the cafeteria, according to numerous Yahoo’s quoted by AllThingsD.

Mayer’s annual salary will be $1 million base pay, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But if you add in contract incentives of bonuses, stock units and options, and a $30 million “one-time retention equity award” the deal could ultimately be worth up more than $100 million if she remains at the company for five years.

In her first internal memo, obtained by AllThingsD, Mayer urged Yahoos to “keep moving”:

Dear Yahoos!

I couldn’t be more excited to be here — thank you for the warm welcome over the past two days! I can’t wait to get to know more about Yahoo’s products, culture, and all of you. I’ve always had a deep respect for Yahoo! — I first experienced it as a student at Stanford in 1994 as “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” — and I’ve been fan ever since. I’m incredibly honored to now be a part of the team and work with all of you. Yahoo! is an Internet icon — in terms of brand, reach, user following, in its products and service. There is an enormous amount of opportunity in front of us.

The company has been through a lot of change in the past few months, leaving many open questions around strategy and how to move forward. I am sensitive to this. While I have some ideas, I need to develop a more informed perspective before making strategy or direction changes. In the meantime, please do not stop. You are doing important work. Please don’t stop. If you have questions or concerns about whether to continue or not, please ask. However, with the exception of a few things that might heavily constrain us in the future, the answer is most likely: “Yes, keep moving.”

Companies are all about people and the companies with the best talent win. Joining was an easy decision, because the strength of Yahoo!’s talent and the whole team here is apparent. We will continue to invest in talent, so we can produce the most compelling and exciting user experiences anywhere.

In recognizing our team’s deep talent, we all owe thanks to Ross Levinsohn, for his leadership and direction as interim CEO over the last couple of months. Ross has done a terrific job for the company.

Looking forward, we need to continue Yahoo!’s tradition of bold innovation, encourage creativity, and ultimately inspire and delight users and advertisers.

Please come by my office in building D on the third floor and say hello. I cannot wait to hear your ideas for Yahoo!’s future.


Mayer, who became Google’s 20th employee 13 years ago, replaces fired CEO Scott Thompson. Thompson was just named CEO of ecommerce startup ShopRunner, and spoke with Bloomberg about Mayer.

“I haven’t met Marissa, but from what I’ve read and heard about her, I suspect she’s an excellent person to lead Yahoo into the next stage,” he said. “I hope she’s extremely successful starting on Day One and for as long as she’s there. … I met a lot of great people in my time there, and I’m rooting for them.”

Thompson’s deal was valued at $27 million (while Carol Bartz’s deal was worth $44.6 million).

Yahoo reported flat Q2 2012 revenue of $1.22 billion last week, with search revenue falling 1 percent to $461 million year-over-year and display revenues climbing 2 percent to $535 million year-over-year.

Related reading

Improving personalization with machine learning
The finite era of "actionable insights"
Four initiatives B2Bs must tackle now to win in 2020