There will be debates about whether or not Mayer is enough to save the troubled iconic company. And debates about the wisdom of her decision.
But what the press has missed so far is that this is a paradigm shift for Yahoo.
Mayer is completely out of Yahoo’s league. So far out that I’m surprised they even had the courage to approach her (although it’s possible she approached them).
But they obviously found that courage, and Mayer has taken the job.
Impossible, I would have said a week ago.
But it happened. And overnight Yahoo’s reputation will change.
At first it will just be in Silicon Valley. But as of now people won’t be ashamed to say they work at Yahoo any more. And for the last several years, they have certainly been ashamed.
More key employees will stick around. The company will be able to hire better people. People will be proud to work at the company again.
Morale will shift immediately, there will be lots more positive thinking.
Why? It’s just the way humans think. If something is perceived to be a loser then it becomes a loser. People bail, either physically or mentally. A defensive attitude takes over. Talented outsiders avoid it like the plague.
Example: Just a couple of years ago Yelp refused to be acquired by Yahoo for some $200 million more than Google was offering.
Now, though, the bloom is back on the rose at Yahoo.
It doesn’t mean the company will find a way to win. But like I said, the whole Yahoo paradigm has shifted.
I’ve interviewed Mayer many times over the years at TechCrunch and Le Web events and I’ve been able to see the way she thinks during those interviews and in other interactions.
What happens next is she’ll want to win. And generally she does win. I’d expect a bold new product strategy and an acquisition plan to help build the foundation of that strategy.
Fixing Yahoo will be difficult, particularly since the company seemed to have grown comfortable with its decline and no longer had any fight left in them.
I expect Mayer will be fixing all that sooner rather than later.
It’s a good day for Yahoo.