This section is where you'll find my thoughts on life from the eyes of an entrepreneur. The biggest challenge is balancing the success and obligations that success brings as the more successful one becomes, it seems the more obligations they have to the world. Feel free to comment as you follow my journey and general musings regarding that journey.
The first article I wrote about Yahoo! soon after they announced, their then new CEO, Scott Thompson, talked about the need for them to bring in a startup culture to reignite innovation. Not too long thereafter, Thompson was out and Marissa Mayer was in. It looked like Mayer was more along the lines of what Yahoo! needed and that she was poised to bring back that startup culture she helped create at Google.
I wrote and still stand by my followup article, Not a Joke - Marissa Mayer Inherited the Best Company Ever! However, Mayer is in the process of already screwing up the best opportunity for a turnaround. When Yahoo! sold half its stake in China's Alibaba Group for $7.6 billion, the company netted $4.3 billion after tax, yet they are poised to return $3.65 billion of that amount to shareholders.
This means that Yahoo! will only be keeping about $650 million from a $7.6 billion sale.
It's this kind of math that makes me laugh at the mismanagement of Yahoo!'s business.
Instead of using that money for significant new business initiatives, startup acquisitions or R&D, she's content with fussing around with a new home page.
I understand that she's under intense pressure to return that money to shareholders, but returning money is much different from making money. This sends a clear signal that the company isn't confident in its ability to reinvest that capital to provide a better return to shareholders.
Unless Mayer takes a drastic change of approach to giving back all of the cash raised from the Alibaba sale to shareholders, the company will continue to remain an innovation laggard. This maneuver will further prove that the company is in capable of hiring a great leader.