Yahoo! Inc.: Marissa Mayer's Challenge
(9 pages of text)
In July 2012, Marissa Mayer was appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of Yahoo! Inc. and was tasked by Yahoo’s board of directors with turning around the company’s performance. Mayer’s ascension to the top position came with a number of challenges. Yahoo had seen seven CEOs come and go in its 18-year existence, five of whom had left within the last five years. In addition, Yahoo faced a number of corporate governance challenges, including the disgraceful exit of its former CEO amid charges that he had falsified his resumé, and the demands of an activist investor who was seeking four board seats to influence the company’s strategic direction. Mayer also had to decide on how best to use the proceeds from the partial sale of the company’s investment in the Alibaba Group, a Chinese Internet company. Mayer had to confront these issues prior to presenting her strategic plan to the company’s board in mid-September.
The case deals with strategic management within a backdrop of corporate governance. It is best positioned in the middle of a core corporate strategy course. The following are the teaching objectives of the case:
- Consider the implications of a company’s business model in light of shifting industry boundaries.
- Manage a company’s growth by moving into adjacent markets.
- Strike the balance between consolidating a company’s core domestic market and investing in overseas growth opportunities.
- Allocate scarce organizational resources among various business segments of a company.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
United States, Large, 2012
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