Marissa Mayer, current President and CEO of Yahoo, has been selected as the midlifebachelor.com Woman of the Month for October 2012!
OCTOBER 1, 2012 UPDATE – Marissa Mayer had a baby boy on Sunday night, September 30, 2012 … according to a tweet from her husband, Zachary Bogue. The baby’s name and weight have not yet been released. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Marissa Mayer is without question the smartest and most impressive woman on the planet. I knew nothing about her until all of the fairly recent press surrounding her leaving Google in order to lead Yahoo. At age 37, she is the youngest CEO of any Fortune 500 company today AND she is ranked #14 on Fortune Magazine’s list of most powerful American businesswomen of 2012. Of course … stating the obvious … she is also extremely good-looking.
Marissa Mayer was born on May 30, 1975 in Wausau, Wisconsin where she grew up. She graduated with honors from Stanford University with a BS in Symbolic Systems and MS in Computer Science … specializing in Artificial Intelligence throughout. In 2009, the Illinois Institute of Technology granted her an honoris causa degree in recognition of her work in the field of online search.
Marissa Mayer joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employee, and its first female engineer. During her 13 years with Google, she held various positions in engineering, product management, and senior management. She held key roles in Google Search, Google Images, Google News, Google Maps, Google Books, Google Product Search, Google Toolbar, iGoogle and Gmail. Prior to leaving Google, she was Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services. On July 16, 2012, Mayer was appointed President and CEO of Yahoo. Marissa Mayer is married to attorney/investor Zachary Bogue, and is expecting her first child (baby boy) on or about October 7, 2012. [Congratulations in advance to Marissa and Zachary.] If Marissa Mayer ever divorces Zachary Bogue, then there would certainly be surge of midlife bachelor suitors – with me out front.
Marissa Mayer has been tasked with turning around Yahoo – which is one of the most visited websites today, but which has experienced challenges in terms of monetizing that incredibly large user base. Yahoo did just recently announce a $6.3B cash infusion from Alibaba Group for Alibaba’s repurchase of half of Yahoo’s stake in them … so that definitely gives Marissa some financial breathing room and time to overhaul Yahoo. Here’s my quick take on what Marissa Mayer should do to fix Yahoo:
Far more aggressively market Yahoo Search Marketing by offering deep discounts for 3 months or 6 months to existing Google AdWords customers. [The online ad market is tremendously profitable, so the ROI here for yahoo would be incredible.] I am an AdWords customer myself – and had to dig to find out anything about Yahoo Search Marketing … it should have shown up #1 when I did a search for “yahoo adwords” in the search box on yahoo.com, but it showed up third (an ad was first, followed by an article, followed by what I was looking for). The 6-month “advertise for free” (or discounted) offer should have shown up in the number 1 spot.
More effectively monetize Yahoo!Finance. When I go to finance.yahoo.com, it is clear they partner with or sell ads to Scottrade, as I count 4 separate Scottrade ads. A lot of people use Yahoo!Finance, and I think one ad toward the top of the page for any single online broker is plenty … two is almost overkill. Yahoo should partner with a financial advice site (such as minyanville.com, motleyfool.com, or similar) so that clear trading advice is also prominent. For a third new partner, I suggest a company that offers explicit alternative investments – such as precious metals or bonds or real estate (and yes, I realize these can often be purchased in mutual funds or ETFs via the online broker partner, but not everyone thinks about that … so making an explicit pitch via a partner ad on the home page should be profitable). And when I say “partner”, I mean taking a minimum pay per click fee AND ALSO taking a commission on the sale.
Pick an online market segment to sell into, and own it – which is not happening right now. Amazon started with books, and they own that plus more. Ebay owns online auctions. Sure, yahoo has Yahoo!Shopping but I only visited it just now to see what was there … I didn’t think of it automatically. Marissa should have her senior staff come up with a list of Top Ten services (not physical product-based) that yahoo could potentially dominate. I think the online dating market would be great for yahoo to re-enter … because there is no physical product to ship, the effort is more of a database, coding effort, and user interface project (and their are plenty of coders at Yahoo). So I would phase out the current partnership with match, and create a new, superior online dating site – which I know just how to do. And I’d look at nine other potential services for Yahoo to offer the masses, and dominate. Pick three or so, and execute.
I had difficulty finding an online video of Marissa Mayer after she took over as the Yahoo CEO, and so here is the only one I could find – which is a non-technical interview with Martha Stewart. I like this video because it gives you a feel for who Marissa Mayer is as a person …
Typically at this point, we attempt to analyze our Woman of the Month pick in terms of the Midlifebachelor.com 14 Types of Women. Which type or types do you suppose Marissa Mayer might be? Well, she is certainly a Jackpot (see Types of Women – Jackpot) since she is a high income earner. If you know Marissa Mayer personally and/or would to share something about her – please add a COMMENT to the comment section at the bottom of this page!
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Nominee for our Next Woman of the Month
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