October 2, 2014

Marissa Mayer Spends First Week at Yahoo!

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Last week, Yahoo! announced recruitment of Google executive Marissa Mayer as the company’s new CEO. The move was considered surprising and bold in many quarters, and Mayer’s performance may teach us much about how the right leadership can make a difference.

Their Fearless Leader

Setting a course for tomorrow. The mammoth task Mayer has been given, setting a new direction for one of the most famous and yet most uncertain companies in online business, will test her abilities as a leader. Big questions remain about what course she will set and who she will choose for her team. All Things Digital

Taking the road less traveled. Two of the most critical things any business leader must decide upon are what kind of business to run and what type of customer that business serves. Both of these issues now face Yahoo!’s new CEO Marissa Mayer in the form of a single question: What kind of company will Yahoo! become? The New York Times

Don’t trust the media. While others cling to the notion that Yahoo! is a media company, Mayer’s appointment seems likely to change this. The selection of a new leader with tech credentials signals the company will be heading in a new direction. The aim will be to create products, not just content, something many feel is vital if Yahoo! is to succeed. Ad Age Digital

Just one of the geeks. One of the most important characteristics of great leaders is not just the decisions they make but the tone they set. In Mayer’s case, her cred as a first tier technology leader, her habit of going to the cafeteria like any other employee, and even the way she makes Yahoo! “feel” like a startup again are all important steps toward winning employee confidence. Business Insider

Life After Yahoo!

Finding the right fit. While Marissa Mayer is settling in at Yahoo!, her predecessor, Scott Thompson, who left the company abruptly under less than ideal circumstances, has found himself a new gig as CEO of ShopRunner, an online consortium for retailers like GNC, Sports Authority, and Drugstore.com. Bloomberg Businessweek

Other Leadership Lessons

There’s nothing like experience. No matter how Netflix has turned the entertainment business upside down, when it came to hiring a leader to market its online video rental business, the company chose a guy from a traditional Hollywood studio. Sometimes there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. Go with what works. Fox Business

Learning from Steve. Is Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, a role model for entrepreneurial leadership or an example of what not to do when managing your company? A recent article explores Jobs’s legacy as both an innovator and an often autocratic leader. Some entrepreneurs express their opinions of Jobs as a leader, good and bad. Wired

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