TECH

Marissa Mayer's First Year At Yahoo In 3 Charts

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20:  Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer attends a news conference following the company's acquisition of Tumblr at a
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer attends a news conference following the company's acquisition of Tumblr at a press conference in Times Square on May 20, 2013 in New York City. The internet giant Yahoo! purchased the blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion. The company also announced a sleek new redesign of its Flickr photo service. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Marissa Mayer took the helm at Yahoo exactly one year ago today. She's been grabbing headlines ever since.

The mere fact that a 38-year-old woman is CEO of a major company in an industry not exactly known for treating women equally garnered attention. Add to that Mayer's splashy $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr and a leaked memo about the perils of working from home, and you have a perfect storm of storylines to put Yahoo back in the spotlight.

While her appointment has been great for publicity, Yahoo's future is still up for debate. Here's a look at Mayer's first year from three key perspectives: Investors, Yahoo employees and consumers.

Money Men <3 Mayer

Yahoo's stock was $27.34 at Monday's close up 74.6 percent from Mayer's first day.

marissa mayer first year

There has been plenty new and shiny to celebrate. Mayer launched redesigns of Flickr, its weather app and Yahoo Mail that have been well received among the tech crowd. Despite a tendency to overpay for acquisitions, Mayer's purchase of Tumblr gives Yahoo an audience younger than it's had in years.

But the stock increase may have little to do with Mayer, and will be hard to replicate. Nicholas Carlson, the Business Insider reporter plugged into Yahoo better than nearly anyone else, attributes the gains to a Chinese Internet company called Alibaba in which Yahoo has a stake.

Workers <3 Mayer

Yahoo employees, who don't mind seeing their own portfolios balloon from the company's performance on Wall Street, approve of their new boss, too.

Glassdoor, a job search site, found that 84 percent of Yahooers approve of the company's direction under Mayer. Glassdoor's data comes from anonymous reviews from Yahooers left on its site. As the chart below shows, she's so far avoided the pitfall of sagging support that's fallen Yahoo chiefs in the past. That newfound media spotlight (and, again, that stock bump) are paying off for Yahoo's HR department.

marissa mayer first year

Mayer isn't in Larry Page or Tim Cook territory yet. The CEOs of Google and Apple have approval ratings of 98 and 94 percent. But rating their level of satisfaction from 1 to 5, Yahoo employees gave an average score of 3.7 during Mayer's tenure. Under the last two Yahoo CEOs, Scott Thompson and Carol Bartz, those ratings were 3.4 and 3.2.

But The $30 Billion Question: Do Regular Humans Even Like Yahoo?

But the most important constituency behind Yahoo's possible resurrection -- the human beings who visit Yahoo.com and log into Yahoo Mail -- have yet to play their part.

The results are mixed as to whether ordinary people are using Yahoo's websites more. Yahoo's share of traffic for its search engine, which competes with Google and Bing, is down to its lowest level ever, according to data from the analytics firm comScore. On the other hand, traffic on Yahoo's homepage has edged up in 2013 after declining through the previous year. The difference? Maybe the Facebook-like makeover Mayer gave Yahoo's homepage in February.

But overall, Yahoo isn't more liked with Mayer at the helm. YouGov, a polling outfit, asked Americans if they've heard positive or negative things about various tech firms, and public perception of Yahoo has trended down at a faster rate than the average of Bing, MSN, Google and Facebook over the past year.

marissa mayer first year

Yahoo's score, measured from -100 to 100, is still higher than Google's or Facebook's. News of Yahoo changing its work-from-home policy and its involvement in a secret U.S. government spying program coincided with the two biggest dips in public opinion. Scrutiny is the cost of the spotlight.

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BEFORE YOU GO

  • 1 Advice To Job Hunting Women
    "Find something you're passionate about and just love. Passion is really gender-neutralizing," Marissa Mayer said on Martha Stewart's "Women with Vision" television series in 2011.
  • 2 The Pie 'Isn't Big Enough'
    "Right now is a great time to be a woman in tech, but there's not enough women in tech," Mayer told a CES2012 panel hosted by CNET. "[I] worry a lot of times the conversation gets really focused on what percentage of the pie is women. And the truth is, the pie isn't big enough. We're not producing enough computer scientist. We're not producing enough product designers. We need a lot more people to keep up with all of these gadgets, all of this technology, all these possibilities." Mayer also commented on the stereotypical culture within the tech world: "There's all kinds of different women who do this. You can wear ruffles, you can be a jock, and you still be a great computer scientist or a great technologist, or a great product designer."
  • 3 Tangible Technology
    "There's just huge growth and opportunity. [T]he fact that the technology is now so tangible in our everyday lives, I think, will inspire a lot more women to go into technology -- and I'm really heartened by that," Mayer said for the MAKERS "Women in Tech" interview series in 2012.
  • 4 Internet Empowered
    "I consider myself incredibly lucky to be present in a moment in time when this wonderful and powerful medium, the internet, is empowering geeks -- and especially female geeks -- to express and pursue their passions," Meyer said in a 2012 acceptance speech at the Celebrating Change gala. She had just won the International Museum of Women's first-ever Innovator Award.
  • 5 Geekin' Out
    "People ask me all the time, 'What is it like to be a woman at Google?' I'm not a women at Google; I'm a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great," she said in an interview for CNN's "Leading Women" series in 2012.
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