Maybe Marissa Mayer Can't Save Yahoo, After All

After a 7% revenue dip in the second quarter of 2013, analysts and employees are cutting CEO Marissa Mayer slack—for now.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer may have gotten people talking positively about the company again with her high-profile acquisitions, site revamps, and shakeup in the employee culture, but none of this talk has goosed the company's core business, which is advertising.

Yahoo just reported ad revenue down 7% in the second quarter of 2013. Overall market share is projected to decline from 9.2% to 7.9% as Yahoo loses out to rivals like Google and Facebook.

Despite all her high-profile leadership, Yahoo's fate may be out of Mayer's hands. If you read the tea leaves, most of the growth in Yahoo's stock price over the past year comes from the company's stake in the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba, which is growing fast and headed toward an IPO.

Image: Magnus Hoij

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  • Mahmoud El-Darwish

    Marissa ( Airhead ) Mayer can always get together with Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman and start an all Girl Band or something useless like that ;)

  • Elle S.

    After 12 years of using yahoo mail and giving the redo a chance for several months, I gave up on it today when it wouldn't let me access my Inbox. (Among many other issues, it no longer allows users to download an attachment -- at all.) It's very very poorly done, and long-time users are leaving in droves, never to return.

  • John Smith

    So far she's screwed up the email software (the software, not the crashes) and been arrogant about it, hired a has-been lefty "hostess" for the video page at $6 mmillion for part-time work, beamed adoringly at the White House as the President b.s'd his way around the NSA activities that are a serious threat to her firm, and what else - yep, she's been amazing.

  • Ibrar

    Despite all her high-profile leadership, Yahoo's fate may be out of Mayer's hands

  • Jack

    She will undoubtedly be successful somewhere else. Unfortunately Yahoo was already in its death spiral but maybe the comp package was just too much to pass it up.

  • Guest

    Marissa Mayer is awesome, it shall take time for the changes in Yahoo to surface. Oh, and the new Yahoo logo is fine. On another note, they may want to remove the inner bevel from the design and make it look a bit more crisp.

  • Msteel

    Their recent rebranding experiment was a catastrophe. There's nothing wrong with experiments that fail, especially if one learns from them. But people at Yahoo seem to actually believe the project was successful. To me, it seems to show a lack of awareness around image and the value of a good brand identity.

  • Msteel

    The 30 logos in 30 days concept yielded a lot of half-baked solutions. A logo can certainly be designed in 30 days, but it's better to explore a bunch of rough, quick concepts in the form of pencil sketches. Creating one "finished" logo on the computer, every day for 30 days, is bound to product style-based, hastily executed logos that won't stand the test of time.

    The final logo, as I understand it, was designed over a weekend between Mayer and Yahoo's design team. Again, not a great way to go about things. It's hasty (did they realize the 30/30 experiment hadn't worked?), and doing that kind of work over a weekend is a morale killer for employees.

    The result is immediately dated and is poorly crafted. More here:

    I predict a redesign in two years or less.

  • Msteel

    I think 30 logos in 30 days is too much surface-skimming work to result in anything of lasting value. It's a shotgun approach. It takes much more time to design a decent logo. It's much better to rapidly explore a bunch of concepts through rough sketching, and THEN selecting a few directions for refinement on the computer. 

    The idea of publicizing their process definitely has merit. But their process was ill-conceived, in my opinion. The result was a logo that is instantly dated, purely stylistic (i.e. devoid of memorable concepts) and slapdash. The problems are described in more detail here: rough sketches in 30 days would've been an interesting idea. Or maybe a sketch every other day, since it can take anywhere from a few minutes to many hours to develop a logo concept that's worth further exploration.I predict a redesign in 18 months or less.

  • Bill Gates

    I think the interesting thing will be to see if Yahoo ever does something to make itself relevant.  Right now, who cares? (although Screen was fun for about 5 minutes).  I think they should just change the name of the whole company to Alibaba and go with what makes money: commerce.

  • Imnot

     Duh! 3 paragraphs with no depth does not make an article. Maybe the person worked from home on it and should've came into the office to write.

  • Edenlangerman

    I think she is an inspirational leader and a media icon in the making. She gave up a high profile job at Google, has made so many smart, strategic business decisions and is a new mother. I think she has done more in a year than most in a decade. Regardless of the outcome of Yahoo, I'm rooting for her. 

  • John Smith

    What has she done that is worth applauding? You need to be careful about your susceptibility to pixie dust -

  • nap12

    Buying Tumblr and Ztelic was a great move. It's going to take awhile to cultivate something out of this. 

  • yahoo

    Anyone familiar with where Yahoo! was a year ago knows that we're not talking a one-year job here. And she never promised that it was.