Marissa Mayer, the CEO of foundering internet giant Yahoo, faces mutiny from investors who are placing increasing pressure on the firm to reshuffle its management and sell off the core business. It would seem, however, that rather than comply with these demands, Yahoo is preparing to face the battle head on. During an interview with PBS, when asked where Yahoo would be in a year’s time, Mayer said: “I would love to be running Yahoo. We have a three-year strategic plan.”
It is through mobile that Mayer hopes to turn around Yahoo
Mayer was defensive when the oft-mentioned criticism of Yahoo’s failed acquisitions was raised, saying the company was one of the largest app development platforms in the world – a feat achieved through various mobile acquisitions. It is through mobile that Mayer hopes to turn around Yahoo; the company plans to invest further in communications and mail in order to enhance engagement and convert its 600m monthly users into daily users.
On the same day as the interview, Yahoo announced it had appointed two new directors to its board: Catherine Friedman, a former MD at Morgan Stanley, and Eric Brandt, who previously held the post of CFO at Broadcom Corporation.
Industry experts suggest the decision to appoint Friedman and Brandt could signal an upcoming proxy battle with Yahoo shareholder Starboard Value. According to The Wall Street Journal, the hedge fund sent a letter to Yahoo’s board of directors at the start of the year, warning it would fight until Mayer, along with various others, were replaced. Despite such threats, as Mayer plainly stated during her PBS interview, she fully intends to stay in her post. It would seem the industry can expect an ugly battle before Yahoo’s story is over.