TechCrunch just reported that Verizon has acquired Yahoo for $4.83 billion.
This definitely is a shocker and I am sure many would agree with me. Not many of us were expecting Marrisa Mayer to call it a day by dropping the ball so soon.
One of the most important companies of the first dot-com boom, Yahoo, has reached the end of its life as an independent company. This deal represents a stunnin decline for a company that was valued at more than $100 billion at its its peak in 2000.
Marissa’s roots as an engineer at Google, definitely helped in improving the brand value with software programmers and technology users alike, and she did make an effort to beef up Yahoo’s technical talent. She instituted a regorous recruitment process and it worked hard at hiring computer scientists from some of the best universities. But there is little sign that these moves changed the culture at Yahoo or improved morale among the programmers working there. They always saw and projected themselves as a “media company” and not a “technology company”. I am not sure if it played out well for them, as its attempt to be a tech company and a media company at the same time, resulted in an organisation that was less than the sum of its parts.
I strongly believe that one reason why Verizon was a strong contender was that they have done this before; Verizon acquired another struggling Internet company last year. Like AOL, Yahoo makes a lot of money by creating Internet content and selling ads against it. So from Verizon’s perspective, this definitely looks like a logical step.
With respect to Mayer’s future at Yahoo, I am sure she is pursuing opportunities outside, as the statement that Yahoo released about this deal, “Yahoo will be integrated with AOL under Marni Walden, EVP and President of the Product Innovation and New Businesses organisation at Verizon”, makes it evident that Marissa Mayer’s future lies outside of Yahoo.
I wish her all the best, and am sure she will build something very interesting soon in the tech business.
Picture courtesy: TechCrunch.com