The legacy of Marissa Mayer
After a year of negotiations, Verizon completed its acquisition of Yahoo for $4.48 billion. The acquisition saw famed Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer exit the scene. The new business, called Oath, combining Verizon-owned AOL and Yahoo, will be run by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. While Mayer leaves Yahoo with a $23 million severance package, we look back at her legacy.
Marissa Mayer's early life and educational qualifications
Born to Michael Mayer and Margaret Mayer in 1975, Marissa Mayer excelled at physics, chemistry, biology, and calculus in school. She initially joined Stanford University intending to become a pediatric neurosurgeon, but later shifted her focus to a Bachelor of Science majoring in computer science, cognitive psychology, linguistics, and philosophy. She completed her Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University in 1999.
Marissa Mayer's long-drawn stint with Google
Upon graduating, Mayer landed a job at Google in 1999 when the company had only 19 employees. Her 13 year-long tenure at Google saw her work on some of Google's most recognizable services including Gmail, Google Earth, Google Maps etc. Known for her eye for design, Mayer is often credited with the look and feel that has come to characterize Google.
Google first female employee
Joining as Google's 20th employee, Marissa Mayer was the first female employee in Google's ranks. She quickly climbed the ladder of success, and, during her tenure, was even responsible for approving each "doodle" which appeared on Google's home page.
Marissa Mayer joins Yahoo at a time of crisis
Refusing to rest on her laurels, Mayer joined Yahoo as the company's CEO in 2012. The seventh CEO hired by Yahoo, Mayer joined the company at a time of declining stock prices, stagnating ad revenues, and increasing layoffs. In her trouble-laden Yahoo years, Mayer's performance was commendable which earned her the Vanity Fair magazine's title of one of the world's most recognizable female CEOs.
Stock prices soar under Mayer
In her five year tenure in Yahoo, Mayer put up a praiseworthy fight for the sinking company. Even while Yahoo declined in prominence in an era dominated by mobile apps, Mayer's tenure saw Yahoo stock prices rise by 254%, from $15 to $53.12. While circumstances in the industry, as well as office politics, worked against her, Mayer showed considerable personality and vision.
Unfavourable circumstances undercut Mayer's Yahoo regime
Despite Mayer's strong entry into Yahoo, her tenure came to an inevitable end with Verizon's acquisition of the sinking company. Mayer's mammoth task of revitalizing Yahoo was undercut by two massive data breaches affecting millions of accounts. Yahoo's acquisition of Tumblr under Mayer did not yield any significant dividend, while ad revenues kept declining as Google and Facebook took over the market.
Google and Facebook's dominance spelled Yahoo's demise
2016 ad revenue figures revealed that Yahoo's demise was on the charts. Google and Facebook owned 33% and 14% respectively of the worldwide digital advertising market, compared to Yahoo's 1.6%.