Advertisment

Is Yahoo losing its sheen as a preferred employer?

author-image
DQI Bureau
New Update

Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer suffers from a love hate relation. The series of changes she had engineered since her joining mid last year has been received with mixed emotions by the employees and the industry as a whole. According to a latest report in Reuters, Mayer's recruiting practices has been questioned by some of the staff members in a meeting some weeks back.

Advertisment

The bone of contention relates to Yahoo having many unfilled positions and some of them has not been filled up even after the job listing being posted well for over a month. Two reasons has been attributed for this- one Yahoo over the last many months was in some kind of flux with frequent top management changes. This seems to have impacted the company which some cite has lost its sheen among young job aspirants who look at Google and Facebook and other hot start ups which they consider as more ‘ cool' places to work in terms of innovation and creative job content and personal contribution.

Two, Marissa Mayer according to some of the Yahoo insiders say relies only on graduates from Ivy League institutes like Stanford and the likes. And moreover every recruitment has to have a final ‘pass through' from Mayer. This many feel are slowing things up and many good recruits drop out due to the lead times and many don't wait that long.

Despite Mayer's radical decisions like banning telecommuting to granulated HR screening and new processes for existing employees- she is still seen as the turnaround CEO by Wall Street analysts till now. The full year 2012 numbers also favor her. For the year ended December 2012, Yahoo posted revenues of $ 4.4 bn (excluding traffic, acquisition costs (TAC) and standalone quarterly revenues (excluding TAC) was $ 1.2 bn in Q4 2012 - a 4% increase compared to Q 4 of 2011.

Advertisment

Commenting on the results Mayer said, "I am proud of Yahoo's 2012 and fourth quarter results. In 2012, Yahoo exhibited revenue growth for the first time in 4 years, with revenue up 2% year-over-year. During the quarter we made progress by growing our executive team, signing key partnerships including those with NBC Sports and CBS Television, and launching terrific mobile experiences for Yahoo Mail and Flickr. At the same time, we achieved tremendous internal transformation in the culture, energy and execution of the company."

The solid numbers give Mayer's the headroom to do things 'her way' right now as she does not have formidable # 2 to challenge her decisions. But 2013 will be the test bed for her as the real fruits of her strategy will be seen. Looking at her moves in the last two quarters, Mayer clearly want to be the epicenter and trying to create a cohesive universe around here. She wants to keep a tab on most of the decisions but analysts wonder if most of the CEO's time geos into numerous support and administrative functions, then she might miss out on the larger mandate, that is - to reengineer Yahoo to be more nimble, in sync with the times, and making its dated portfolio into futuristic and innovative - that are ahead of times.

Yahoo's overall headcount is about 11,500 right now with a 2,000 strong R&D division here in Bangalore - which is largest outside its facility in Sunnyvale. And with Mayer's looking at shifting some of the positions back to Yahoo HQ, might impact the India R&D as well.

Advertisment

While Mayer struggles to justify her radical new actions, probably the biggest challenge she faces is to reverse the company's history- in the last few years- almost all Yahoo CEOs have ended their stint on a sour note and had rather made a tumultuous exit. But Marissa Mayer, given her impeccable credentials- can she build Yahoo 2.0 and defy the skeptics and create ‘One Yahoo'?

The answer lies in the next 2 quarters!

Advertisment