Marissa Mayer making some Yahoos uncomfortable should comfort shareholders

Posted: March 20, 2013 in Silicon Valley
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Yahoo Royalty Free Stock Images - Image: 18019729

I’ve never met Marissa Mayer and I don’t know a single soul at her company (YHOO) or her former one (GOOG).  But if you ask me, she must be doing something right as the new CEO to have caused this much dust to mushroom upwards from the corporate cubes and meeting rooms. Now, evidently, it’s  because of the hoops she’s making hiring managers and others jump through in the recruiting/vetting process. My experience shapes my POV on all the fuss:

I assume that Mayer knows exactly what she’s doing. One of those things is sending the message that the company will only be as good as the people it brings in; so it makes perfect sense that she’s anal about the process and the paper trail right now. Where many a company in The Valley start to decline is the point at which they get complacent about  their entrance requirements and start to settle on more and more ordinary folks. Yes, God must have loved them because he created so many but this is not how you build an extraordinary enterprise. She seems to be re-establishing exactly who a “Yahoo” is and insisting that recruits fit the profile.

Employees can tend to forget that recruiting and hiring are the two most important things you do. “Always be recruiting” might sound cheesy and conjure images of Glengarry Glen Ross, but as far as a corporate mantra you could do a lot worse. You must go the extra mile and make the extra effort — which appears to be precisely what she’s doing. The culture shock it’s creating is due to the forced change she’s putting the culture through. Which is clearly called for given the mediocrity of the brand.

Mayer is the product of Stanford and Google, a couple of highly selective environments. What’s not to like about either as models?  Here’s hoping she succeeds.

When he’s not ranting on this site, Stan DeVaughn holds forth along with comrade-in-communication Peter Davé on The Write Stuff, the blog of Silicon Valley’s premiere technology content-creation agency Write Angle, where IT vendors go for written content that drives revenue.


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