Fireside Chat with Marissa Mayer

Watching Marissa Mayer’s fireside chat about Yahoo! during TechCrunch Disrupt was a uniquely entertaining and informative experience.

 

Mayer skillfully deflected questions about her appearancein Vogue when provoked by TechCrunch founder and moderator Michael Arrington. When questioned about the new Yahoo! logo redesign, Marissa firmly held her ground and mentioned that the focus was on the product, not the logo.  “If the brand doesn’t match the logo – that is a problem.” she said.

 

Although 2012 was a modest year of growth, Mayer is hopeful to see more growth at Yahoo! this year and next year.  She stressed the importance of hiring the right people and building the right products to drive traffic and revenue and highlighted that the number of resumes Yahoo! has received has skyrocketed since her appointment as CEO.  Currently, Yahoo! gets 12,000 resumes a week, up dramatically by a factor of 5 to 6 since before July 2012.

 

Additionally, the number of “boomerangs” or new hires that have previously worked at Yahoo! in the past have increased significantly.  Mayer noted that on average, 10% of new hires now have previously worked at Yahoo!. That percentage was even higher at 14% during Q1 of this year.

 

Mayer said that she loves hard work and big challenges, and her strategy since coming to Yahoo! has really been to focus on products that revolve around peoples’ daily habits including search, mail, and reading a daily homepage.  She stressed that Yahoo’s core competency has been around organizing the web, and helping people spend their time.  “We’re really about being a personalization company,” she said.

 

“The big piece that I am focused on is mobile.  We’ve grown our mobile team by almost a factor of 10 after I arrived,” Mayer said.  Yahoo! has recently passed 800 million MAU (monthly active users), and 300 million MAU on mobile.

 

Mayer said that Yahoo! Mail has seen a lot of improvements overall.  However, her favorite mail application is still command-line based Pine.

 

She is very excited about the announcement of Apple’s iPhone 5S and the fingerprint sensing technology.  “Building smart sensors into the phone is really exciting,” she said, and commented on how she did not have a passcode on her iPhone because typing it over and over many times a day was too cumbersome.  She also recently joined the board of Jawbone and is excited about their product roadmap.

 

She is thankful for the support that she’s received from the community of CEOs.  “I need to make fewer decisions,” she said, when asked about what she would change about herself.  “What’s surprising about being a CEO is how few decisions you actually have to make, but you have to make them exactly correctly, exactly, perfectly.”

 

Yun Wu is a 2nd year MBA at the Wharton School majoring in Operations Management and Marketing.  You can find her at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yunwu

Watching Marissa Mayer’s fireside chat about Yahoo! during TechCrunch Disrupt was a uniquely entertaining and informative experience.

 

Mayer skillfully deflected questions about her appearancein Vogue when provoked by TechCrunch founder and moderator Michael Arrington. When questioned about the new Yahoo! logo redesign, Marissa firmly held her ground and mentioned that the focus was on the product, not the logo.  “If the brand doesn’t match the logo – that is a problem.” she said.

 

Although 2012 was a modest year of growth, Mayer is hopeful to see more growth at Yahoo! this year and next year.  She stressed the importance of hiring the right people and building the right products to drive traffic and revenue and highlighted that the number of resumes Yahoo! has received has skyrocketed since her appointment as CEO.  Currently, Yahoo! gets 12,000 resumes a week, up dramatically by a factor of 5 to 6 since before July 2012.

 

Additionally, the number of “boomerangs” or new hires that have previously worked at Yahoo! in the past have increased significantly.  Mayer noted that on average, 10% of new hires now have previously worked at Yahoo!. That percentage was even higher at 14% during Q1 of this year.

 

Mayer said that she loves hard work and big challenges, and her strategy since coming to Yahoo! has really been to focus on products that revolve around peoples’ daily habits including search, mail, and reading a daily homepage.  She stressed that Yahoo’s core competency has been around organizing the web, and helping people spend their time.  “We’re really about being a personalization company,” she said.

 

“The big piece that I am focused on is mobile.  We’ve grown our mobile team by almost a factor of 10 after I arrived,” Mayer said.  Yahoo! has recently passed 800 million MAU (monthly active users), and 300 million MAU on mobile.

 

Mayer said that Yahoo! Mail has seen a lot of improvements overall.  However, her favorite mail application is still command-line based Pine.

 

She is very excited about the announcement of Apple’s iPhone 5S and the fingerprint sensing technology.  “Building smart sensors into the phone is really exciting,” she said, and commented on how she did not have a passcode on her iPhone because typing it over and over many times a day was too cumbersome.  She also recently joined the board of Jawbone and is excited about their product roadmap.

 

She is thankful for the support that she’s received from the community of CEOs.  “I need to make fewer decisions,” she said, when asked about what she would change about herself.  “What’s surprising about being a CEO is how few decisions you actually have to make, but you have to make them exactly correctly, exactly, perfectly.”

 

Yun Wu is a 2nd year MBA at the Wharton School majoring in Operations Management and Marketing.  You can find her at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yunwu

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