Have you heard? New Yahoo CEO/former Google exec Marissa Mayer is one of the most powerful women in the world—and she wants to prove it by dragging her company into the present day and re-branding them to improve their reputation as a fading remnant of the ill-fated tech bubble.
Last week she made the small but symbolic announcement that every Yahoo! Employee should use a company iPhone—no BlackBerries, thanks—to achieve a better sense of “consistency” across the company. While Mayer clarified that she is open to giving employees Android phones as well, the point was clear: Yahoo isn’t a relic—it needs to be perceived as a company both in and of the moment.
Yesterday she made her first big hire, bringing on digital entrepreneur Kathy Savitt as chief marketing officer. Savitt has quite a history, founding social media venture Lockerz and working in prominent communications positions at retailers Amazon and American Eagle. It will be her job to redefine Yahoo in the eyes of the public, and it’s quite a challenge.
In an interesting twist on the story, the company’s previous CMO apparently didn’t realize that she would be replaced until ten minutes before the announcement went public. Could this be a bit of a PR problem, given the fact that most execs expect to be replaced when companies change hands?
What do you think? Does Mayer have the disposition to turn Yahoo around, or does she face an impossible task? How’s she doing so far on the PR front?