Marissa Mayer Defends Yahoo Logo

Marissa Mayer Defends Yahoo Logo

SAN FRANCISCO -- Marissa Mayer is standing by the new -- and much maligned -- Yahoo logo that was unveiled last week.

Speaking onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF, the San Francisco technology conference that ends on Wednesday, Yahoo's CEO said that she "like[s] the way the logo turned out, and I like the way we did it."

"To me, we really pride ourselves at Yahoo as being the world's largest startup," she continued. "We're a big and established company. We need to be really entrepreneurial and our attitude is to be really scrappy, and the way that we did the logo -- we kept it in-house, we didn't have someone, you know, as an external firm or consulting firm, we didn't spend millions of dollars doing it. We did it in a way that came from a very authentic place"

Mayer's answer was in response to a question from Michael Arrington, the founder and former co-editor of TechCrunch, who asked a rather blunt question about the new branding: "What the f*ck happened here?"

After the crowd of journalists, entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley insiders stopped laughing, and Mayer said she liked the redesign, the 38-year-old CEO shifted the focus from the logo to Yahoo's products, many of which have been redesigned in the 14 months she's been in charge.

"For us, what the brand is really about is the products," she said. "We're happy with the logo, but for us the focus is really on the product."

Arrington followed up by asking Mayer how long it would be until Yahoo changed the logo, and Mayer replied that they'll make small changes over time.

Mayer also said that 87 percent of Yahoo employees didn't like the old logo. She was hearing from customers that while they loved the newly redesigned products, the old logo looked "clunky," Mayer said.

Mayer came on as CEO last summer and has overseen the redesign of many of the company's products, including its homepage, weather app and Flickr. She has also made a number of high-profile acquisitions, including Tumblr and Summly.

The logo that Yahoo unveiled last week is the first redesign in 18 years. Max Ma, an intern on the design team who worked on the new logo, posted an alternate version on his website, and many thought it would have made a better choice than the one Yahoo settled on.

TechCrunch is owned by AOL, which also owns The Huffington Post.

Before You Go

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.
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."
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.
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.
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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