Marissa Mayer Appoints New Yahoo CFO

on Sep 26, 2012
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Marissa Mayer has been Yahoo’s CEO for two months now and she is on a spree, taking a broom to senior management staff with the ambition of revitalizing the company and improving its competitiveness.

The latest one to go is Tim Morse, the chief financial officer (CFO) who was with Yahoo (NASDAQ:YAHOO) for three years and briefly served as interim chief executive. Starting 22 October Ken Goldman, former CFO at Fortinet, will be Mr Morse’s replacement at Yahoo. According to Bloomberg, Ken Goldman is well known on Wall Street and can be considered one of the top 10 CFO’s in the Silicon Valley. Including Morser, Marissa Mayer has already substituted five senior executives in the company. As reported by the Financial Times, other newcomers include Kathy Savitt, chief marketing officer and formerly at Amazon, American Eagle Outfitters and social-media start-up Lockerz; Jackie Reses, a private equity industry veteran who now oversees Yahoo’s human resources and business development; and Ron Bell, general counsel.

!m[](/uploads/story/465/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)On Tuesday 25 September, Yahoo’s new CEO made her first companywide speech and outlined a set of broad goals the firm will be pursuing in a bid to regain its competitiveness. According to an employee who was present at the meeting, Marissa Mayer’s words were met with enthusiasm: “It was some of the same types of lines that had been said before, but people believe it now,” explained the person quoted by Bloomberg. With recent goodies added to the employee package including free food and new iPhones for everyone, it is apparent Ms Mayer is trying hard to boost morale of a workforce that has faced years of uncertainty and management turmoil. The latest perks have long been available in other Silicon Valley companies with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) being the leader in treating its employees well – this summer the company announced it will be rolling out death benefits to its employees including the generous offer to pay the spouse or partner of a deceased staffer half of their salary for ten years.

Marissa Mayer has definitely stirred up the atmosphere in Yahoo but what truly concerns investors is what her future plans are. At Yahoo’s Californian headquarters, Ms Mayer stressed on not only personalizing Yahoo’s web services but also adapting the company’s products to mobile devices. Analysts believe the focus will be on renewing the Web technology and products of the Internet giant rather than beefing up online content. This might mean Yahoo will carry out to some expensive acquisitions to gather the necessary firepower and bring back advertisers.

According to the company there are more than 700 million monthly visitors to its websites. Those are people who are using the email services, reading the news or tapping into one of Yahoo’s many side properties such as Yahoo! Music, Finance, match.com, omg! and others. Despite still being one of the world’s most popular web companies, Yahoo’s revenue has stagnated due to falling display advertising prices and increased competition from Google and Facebook.
Following the announcement of the new CFO and the few leaks from the company meeting Yahoo’s shares have remained flat at $15.68. Marissa Mayer is expected to present a detailed strategy to investors sometime in mid-October after Yahoo’s next quarterly results come out.

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