What’s really going on at Yahoo?
Conflicting reports in recent days about the company and the fate of CEO Marissa Mayer have Yahoo observers scratching their heads. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal suggested that her job was on the line and reported that Yahoo’s board had planned a series of meetings this week to discuss spinning off the company’s flagship Internet business. The New York Times and Bloomberg followed with similar reports.
But Kara Swisher, the well-sourced editor of Re/code, dismissed those reports in her story on Wednesday morning, attributing them to the Silicon Valley gossip mill. “What’s going on now also has echoes of what Twitter just went through — rumors largely generated by those interested in goosing Yahoo’s stock and a willing media ready to help generate froth,” she wrote.
According to Swisher, Mayer still has the full support of the board, though that shouldn’t be too surprising since most of them were picked by her. And she notes that Yahoo’s upcoming discussions shouldn’t raise any eyebrows because they’re nothing more than the usual board meetings that have long been planned for December. Swisher also shot down reports that the company’s board was reconsidering its plans to spin off its valuable 15% stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Swisher says the sale is scheduled for January and that Yahoo has already selected a CEO for the new company, which is called Abaco Holdings.
Despite Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s attempts to update Yahoo’s Internet business for the mobile age, the company has continued to fall far behind Google and Facebook in the competition for advertising dollars. It has spent billions on acquisitions like Tumblr and Polyvore, without seeing a clear return. In October, it announced that it would write off its $42 million investment in original video.
Though the intentions of Yahoo’s board may not be clear as they head into meetings this week, they certainly have a lot ot talk about.