Ask the average internet user to describe what Yahoo! is and they might struggle. Since starting life as a search engine in the mid-1990s, the web giant has evolved and expanded to incorporate everything from email and chat to news, photo sharing and games.
Along the way it lost focus. Faced with intense competition from rivals such as Google, its multi- pronged approach resulted in a lack of clear direction and a loss of market share.
Now high-profile chief executive Marissa Mayer has made it her mission to put the company back on track. Since joining from Google in July last year, she’s shaken up the corporate culture and made targeted acquisitions.
One of Mayer’s first moves was to ban telecommuting. Other changes have included the relaunch of the once popular photo-sharing service Flickr and the surprise $US1.1 billion purchase of the micro- blogging site Tumblr.
Mayer’s understanding of the web and digital technology, stemming from her 13 years at Google, means she’s well placed to refocus Yahoo! and guide the company back to being an internet powerhouse. The next 12 months will reveal whether her approach is correct.