Marissa Mayer brings a little Google to Yahoo with product focus

New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, well-known for her obsessive dedication to products like Google’s search and Gmail, isn’t wasting time on shaking up Yahoo’s complacent corporate attitude.

The former Google executive is pushing Yahoo to focus more on its products and users, a big shift from business focused chief executives like Scott Thompson and Ross Levinsohn, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The report notes that Mayer has removed Yahoo’s stock ticker from its internal company website, a sign that employees should be more focused on Yahoo’s products than on its finances. Mayer has also expressed interest in revamping Yahoo’s search experience (the underlying technology of which is powered by Microsoft’s Bing), as well as a plan to spread Yahoo’s content and ads across the web, sources tell the WSJ. Mayer is also now approving every new Yahoo hire, and she’s begun weekly “FYI meetings” to stay in touch with employees.

Mayer previously said that she wouldn’t reveal any grand plans to fix Yahoo until she reviewed all of its businesses. But judging from the WSJ’s report, it sounds like she hasn’t wasted much time in putting her touch on Yahoo. The philosophical shift is also particularly impressive considering she’s only been on the job for three weeks.

For Yahoo, a company that has seemed like a black hole of innovation for the past decade, Mayer’s singular focus on products can only be a good thing. But it remains to be seen how much innovation Mayer can milk out of Yahoo’s existing products. The company could buoy its products through acquisitions, but with only around $2 billion in cash on-hand, any purchases would have to be sure-fire successes to be worthwhile.

Photo JD Lasica/Flickr


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