News flash: People upset with Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer — this time it’s photographers

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer certainly has people paying attention: moms, telecommuters, Tumblr-heads and the rest of the tech world, of course. Now, professional photographers.

“Today, with cameras as pervasive as they are there’s no such thing really as professional photographers. … Certainly, there’s varying levels of skills.” Mayer reportedly said at a press conference Wednesday in New York, where she was talking about Yahoo’s purchase of blogging platform Tumblr, which was announced the day before. Mayer also addressed the revamp of Flickr, another property the company bought in 2005. Yahoo has been accused of “killing” Flickr, or at least ignoring it.

Besides a facelift that features bigger, higher-resolution photos, Yahoo is now offering Flickr users 1 terabyte of free space. This means the “Pro” option, which costs $25 a year, is being discontinued for new users. (Mashable has the details on the new pricing structure for Flickr customers.)

MarketWatch points to a blog post by James Colton, a former Sports Illustrated photo editor: “Using her logic, I guess we no longer have doctors either because of WebMD and the proliferation of medical information available online.”

In a couple of tweets Wednesday, Mayer apologized for her choice of words: “It was a misstatement on my part and out of context. Was about the terabyte on @Flickr & how many photos everyone takes.”

It’s just the latest brouhaha surrounding Mayer, who has been CEO of the Sunnyvale company for less than a year. She has helped spark a debate about “working” moms after a two-week maternity leave, and gotten flak for banning telecommuting. Some see the criticism of Mayer as excessive and say it’s because she’s a woman in power. (See Quoted: On Yahoo’s Baby Bump and Quoted: On Marissa Mayer As Yes, Yahoo’s Female CEO.)

But in announcing the $1.1 billion Tumblr purchase this week, Mayer herself knew there’d be the inevitable complaints about a smaller company being gobbled up by a bigger company: She vowed not to “screw it up.”

Take away the controversies, though, and Mayer’s record looks better. The Associated Press notes that her moves, including completing a deal to sell some of Yahoo’s stake back China-based e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba, have pleased Wall Street so far. The stock is up about 70 percent since she took the helm, although it is down about 2 percent to $26 as of this post. Brandon Bailey writes for SiliconBeat that Yahoo today announced another acquisition. It is buying PlayerScale, a mobile-game startup in Belmont.


Photo of Marissa Mayer from Associated Press


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  • Roger Draper

    Marissa Mayer rocks. What’s not to like? She’s a brainy, forthright, candid leader, who knows how to get the right stuff done. There should be more execs like her. Especially in government.

    • Bernard

      Especially in government.

  • steve hammill

    She’s young, smart, good-looking, and hopefully lucky; her billion $$$ acquisition of Tumblr has a better chance of going south than reaching the land of gumdrops and lollipops.

    But only time will tell if Tumblr is a boondoggle or a gold strike.

  • Name

    If you are an (old) Flickr fan you would not be so happy with her!

  • Julian Alien

    Whoopee she merges. She just lost millions of customers by shutting down yahoo classic. See you later advertisers! I will never give any of her acquisitions a dime. She does not rock.