Quite excited for Marissa Mayer when she was selected as Yahoo's new CEO in 2012 (except, just a little sad for not letting employees work at home, especially for those who have young families). However, I admire her courage and honesty to make huge changes when they are needed. She has a huge job on her hand, finding the right people to help her turn around Yahoo's bottom line and make current investors happy and attracting new ones.
My advice to her, find these qualities from her future prospects:
- Hire someone who has an open mind, willing to invest his/her dedication to the company and think more like a business person rather than a 9-to-5 job. This person has a mentality and always has questions like, "How will this help Yahoo's financial statements? Will these be pleasing for the investors to look at?", meaning just healthy profits and no more losses, and great ROI on investors.
- I may suggest an entrepreneur who knows how business work, including the knowledge on what those financial statements ratios are, and someone who sees the big picture globally. This person should be willing to work with the rest of Yahoo people on improving their current products and probably later on invest on new ones to be more competitive with others like, Google.
- I currently use both Yahoo and Google's services, especially for emails, and as search engines. Used to love Yahoo email a lot, especially when they have the 'sort' feature, but I could no longer use that, meaning that's extra time for any Yahoo mail users, especially these days lots of 'so unwanted emails and subscriptions'. Also, I use Flickr a lot for pictures and videos, but then, uploading videos can be a nightmare, sometimes they don't work at all and I ended up using YouTube.
- My suggestion to Yahoo, if you have products that are working perfectly well, don't change it! Yahoo users would likely go to where they can save time, not so much money since they can be used for free. But then Yahoo's advertisers will go somewhere else to advertise their businesses, that's where Yahoo loses money.
- Hire someone who is willing to invest time to do research on what's going around with other similar companies like Google. Why Google shares are skyrocketing! Check Google products and services, why they are doing so well. I won't mind using Yahoo as a search engine if they can provide information like Google can.
- Work on your current products and services that will work with other social media, especially like Twitter and Facebook, and even with your other competitor like Google and Bing. The more Yahoo links its clients to search engine like Google, the better.
- Lastly, listen to your current or even former Yahoo clients/users comments and complaints. These complaints can be annoying, but this information so valuable for Yahoo's success. Most of all, always in check on what your competitors (like Google) doing. You have to be competitive with your products to survive. Have an open mind with suggestions with your Yahoo people and your Yahoo clients/users.
- I will conclude with this quote from a favorite entrepreneur of mine, Jack Dorsey @jack on his Square product:
"Why is that important?" he asked. "Because it gives the merchant a tool to recognize the customer by name, what they like. So the customer feels like it's a VIP experience ... The more you personalize their experience and tailor it to them, the more they think, 'This is my place. I'll come back all the time and introduce it to all my friends.'"
Give what your former, current and future Yahoo clients/users want and Yahoo's success will just take care of itself. Make sure that your goals and actions have to be in line with your cost-benefit analysis though.
Note: This post has been re-titled to a more appropriate message that it conveys.
Earla Riopel, BSCom(USA), DipAcc(UBC)