Sometimes the questions would come in live from a Yahoo employee holding a microphone in URLs. Bobbie Had a NickelThe book Mayer read to Yahoo employees in November 2013She began to read. Yodel AnecdotalMayer's first move was to roll back Scott Thompson's plansThe irony is, the only reason Marissa Mayer had to explain herself to a roomful of demoralized and confused Yahoos that Thursday in November 2013 was that, a year before, she decided not to fire 5,000 of them.
When she joined Yahoo in the summer of 2012, one of the first meetings she took was with a company executive named Jim Heckman. The notion that Yahoo needed to fire a lot of its people was conventional wisdom within the industry by the time Mayer took over in summer 2012. Even as Mayer decided not to fire 5,000 or 10,000 people during the fall of 2012, she still wanted to figure out some way to cut costs, or at least control spending, at Yahoo.
Lots of Yahoo employees at all levels understood that the company needed to be tighter with its compensation. Also, Yahoo kept acquiring small, failed startups as a way of quickly hiring whole teams into the company. Over her decade-plus career at Google and at Yahoo, Mayer alienated several designers who worked for her because she felt those designers were not making enough choices based on hard data. Twelve This story is an excerpt from "Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!"Click here to pre-order now.
It was named that because, when Yahoo was founded almost 20 years before, all it did was serve up URLs, website addresses. They wondered, more seriously than at any time since she joined, if Mayer was actually up for the job of saving Yahoo.
She did, however, agree that Yahoo needed to reduce its costs and focus on making fewer products better.
The week of her hire, Marc Andreessen, a widely respected startup investor who had been part of a private equity group that looked at buying Yahoo in 2011, told a reporter that Yahoo should fire 10,000 to 12,000 people.


12, 2012, Mayer got the chance to share the good news, when, at an FYI, an employee asked if reports about layoffs were true.
To get significantly ahead in life as a Yahoo employee, you needed to make sure your grade was better than that of 65 percent of your team colleagues. Anyone who did a little research would find out that Yahoo engineers got higher salaries than counterparts at rival tech companies. At that point, Sharma was working with Mayer on a major redesign of Yahoo Mail, a project code-named Quattro.
Later, she would say that she read the book because she wanted to say that what mattered most in life was experiences, and that her experience at Yahoo had been wonderful so far. In a defensive tone, she stressed, like she always had before, that the QPRs were not a stack ranking, that there were no stealth layoffs going on at Yahoo.
For the next decade, dozens of brilliant, hardworking executives tried to build on that loyalty and restore Yahoo to its early glory. As with all things related to the Internet wrestling community, there are a fair number of memes and running jokes related to Reigns.
The earliest version of Yahoo was a directory of links on a gray web page with a friendly logo up top.
They believed Mayer was brilliant, hardworking, and sincerely interested in the welfare of Yahoo, its employees, and its users.
It took years for Yahoo to refresh its products, while competitors took months or just weeks. Everyone in the company was waiting for Mayer to say something to remind them that she was the CEO who was finally going to restore Yahoo to its rightful place in the internet industry. It called for Yahoo to reduce its number of data centers from 31 to six and its workforce of 15,000 employees and 3,000 contractors by as much as a third. She quickly reduced the scope of Project Alpha and asked her top executives to recruit back into the company high-performing Yahoo employees that Thompson had put on transition.


Because employees were not judged on their own work, but on how well they did relative to their peers, they would actively seek to undermine each other. Under the new system, the only way to get a promotion or a raise at Yahoo was to have an average score of three for the past four quarters. He says that a complete package -- in-ring work, microphone skills and charisma -- are crucial to success in climbing to the top of the card. By the summer of 2013, tens of thousands of people were applying for Yahoo jobs every quarter. At the end of the meeting, Mayer would take questions from Yahoo employees and either answer them herself or ask one of her direct reports to squirm in the spotlight. Whenever Yahoo spent millions of dollars to buy a startup, employees would demand an explanation from Mayer.
Her plan had been to cut costs and improve the mix of talent at Yahoo without damaging morale.
Investors piled into Yahoo with little care for how well the core business Mayer was running performed on a quarterly basis.
When he did that, hundreds of Yahoo employees were told that eventually they were going to be fired, but not just yet. Unlike most turnaround CEOs, she would have the luxury of re-tooling Yahoo without having investors demanding immediate results.



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