One of the first moves of new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is patterning the workplace to look like her former office, Google. (For the uninitiated, Marissa Mayer was a former Google executive who was recently hired as CEO of Yahoo). Her first order of business is to have a weekly Friday afternoon all-hands-on-deck general meeting at the search engine’s Sunnyvale HQ.
At the first meeting, her first change was to make available food at Yahoo’s URL Café in Silicon Valley for free for all engineers and employees. This has caused some ripples with the finance department, but this is how she envisions Yahoo for the next generation: much like her old office at Google. Other reported changes are to the layout of work spaces and buildings to make it more collaborative friendly, and upgrades to its current store shelves.
This focus on work culture at Yahoo is a known blueprint for Google in co-opting with the employees to produce not only sterling work but also a great work environment. The past few years for Yahoo have been more than dismal, with a string of layoffs, management changes and continued doldrums in market share and other business prospects.
According to one long time Yahoo employee, “It might be just a small thing, but people are thrilled.” These are but small changes, and CEO Mayer has more serious business to undertake, especially pushing for product innovation as the only means to have Yahoo survive. These include having better email, better Flickr, better search, better ad-serving or in a nutshell, being better in all that Yahoo has to offer. This is a tall order even for a Google savvy exec bent on search and innovation, which is where her vision lies in her new role as CEO of Yahoo.
According to one insider, “This is the sound of Yahoo becoming a technology company again. It will be all about platforms and products.” This translates to a big splashy tech innovation or product deals in the coming days, maybe even through acquisition of other media tech companies. On the menu are ad tech company Pubmatic and high profile product Flipboard.
In order to achieve this, the new CEO would need a team that shares in her vision and acumen. The question is, will all the new hires of the new CEO be given the green light as Google CEO’s Larry Page gave her during her tenure at Google? One such way that she seems to be moving forward is her asking all her direct reports for specific strategic plans in the next 45 days. While the old guard may leave CEO, many Google brethren are joining Mayer in Yahoo.
As many say, there are many Google changes in Yahoo.