Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to talk turnaround plan Tuesday

Yahoo’s embattled CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to lay out her strategy for reviving the Sunnyvale Internet giant and counter an unhappy investor during Tuesday’s third-quarter earnings report.

Mayer is expected to provide more information about her acquisitions strategy and cost-cutting measures, the Wall Street Journal reports. The newspaper said Mayer will defend her acquisitions as a way of hiring talent.

In a letter sent to Mayer and Yahoo’s board of directors Sept. 26, Starboard Value’s chief Jeffrey Smith criticized Mayer for spending big bucks acquiring companies that haven’t produced much revenue. He is urging Mayer and Yahoo’s board to acquire AOL, another struggling Internet platform. Smith claims a merger could save the two companies $1 billion in overhead.

Mayer responded with a note saying she will “review Starboard’s letter carefully and look forward to discussing it with them.” A meeting is scheduled later this month, the Journal said, citing sources.

Starboard’s letter was triggered in part by differing visions for the money Yahoo realized from the sale of shares in Asian internet retailer Alibaba at its recent IPO. Yahoo realized $9.4 billion from the sale of some of Yahoo’s shares its Alibaba stock, and says that about half, or $3 billion after taxes, will be returned to investors. That leaves the rest available for acquisitions or other spending to improve the company’s bottom line.

Yahoo still has another $33 billion in Alibaba shares which it can’t access for a year. Starboard says it has a “tax-advantaged” scheme for selling those shares in which Yahoo’s investors would be saved $16 billion.


Photo of Marissa Mayer from Associated Press


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  • value play

    I smell cost cutting at the bloated Sunnyvale HQ. Nothing new for the folks there. Every other CEO has done that. When innovation fails, can em.

  • I don’t think the issue is the acquisition of Tumblr but the fact that Ms. Mayer needs a much bigger strategic vision for Yahoo to have a future. I feel her current strategy of turning it into a digital magazine is not bold or unique enough to turn the company around. Here is my take:

  • Mike

    Well start with un-messing-up all the sites you’ve destroyed like Flickr!