Marissa Mayer: Mere Muggle

By Cameron Scott 

yahoo, google, marissa mayer, Marissa Mayer is not a goddess. She has not managed to turn Yahoo definitively around in the first year of her tenure, according to the company’s earnings report today.

Yahoo’s unadjusted profit was down 1 percent year-over-year to $1.07 billion, and its adjusted earnings per share just met analyst expectations at $0.35.

Perhaps most damningly in the eyes of Wall Street, Yahoo revised downward its expected 2013 revenue. The company had earlier said it expected between $4.5 and $4.6 billion in annual revenue; today it lowered the range to $4.45 – $4.55 billion.

Yahoo’s share price, which had been up by 70 percent since Mayer took over as CEO a year ago, fell 2 percent in after hours trading, reveailing Wall Street’s disappointment.

Yahoo will see its market share of digital advertising fall from 8.6 percent in 2012 to 8 percent in 2013, according to comScore. (Its share of search advertising will increase slightly, comScore predicts, but will be more than offset by lost ground in display advertising.)

Still, Mayer does appear to have a clear plan for the company: Fine-tune its focus and offer better user experiences, even when that means reducing advertising real estate. Mayer has also been aggressively building out a mobile engineering staff, an effort that may take some time to pay off in mobile ad revenues. And company morale is, by all accounts, significantly higher than it was when Mayer came in.

So while Mayer may be a mere muggle after all, failing to turn the big purple around with the wave of a wand, she may yet be able to do it through continued work. We’ll just have to wait and see.