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Marissa Mayer’s report card

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Marissa Mayer has just celebrated her one year anniversary as the CEO of Yahoo, but how has she fared? Is “celebrated” the right word to be using?

As Yahoo’s fifth CEO in five years, high hopes were pinned to Mayer after her appointment, as shareholders, employees and the world watched to see if she could pull the company out of the woods.

To her credit, Yahoo’s share price increased 70% in Mayer’s first year, with its overall revenue inching up 2%, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

During her tenure so far, Mayer has also made several prolific changes geared towards improving the company.

She made headlines after the birth of her baby in October when she announced she was only taking two weeks maternity leave, and again in March this year when she banned employees from working from home.

Mayer was also heavily involved in HR, and raised eyebrows by vetting every resume that came through Yahoo’s doors. While the process was undoubtedly time consuming, it was Mayer’s way of ensuring key hires were going to pay off in the long run, and part of her efforts to improve culture.

Other changes she made were providing free food, smartphones, and hosting Friday town halls at Yahoo’s Sunnyvale office, where 3,000 employees are based. Mayer also extended maternity leave to four months and paternity to two, as well as allowing employees to expense up to US$500 (S$632) for things like childcare and laundry, Network World reported.

Mayer also oversaw 17 acquisitions in the last year, including the US$1.1b (S$1.4b) deal that saw the company buy over blogging site Tumblr, and she was responsible for increasing Yahoo’s active mobile users to more than 340 million monthly – its highest ever.

BuzzFeed also reported Mayer managed to trim the company’s cost down from US$1.16b (S$2b) in Q2 2012 to just under US$1b (S$1.3b) in Q2 this year. However, this was at the expense of employees; Yahoo’s headcount fell 10% in the same period, from 12,500 to 11,500.

While her predecessor Scott Thompson didn’t leave huge shoes to fill, all things considered, Mayer’s done a great job with Yahoo thus far.

A lot is yet to be seen, but with WSJ reporting increased morale within the company – an employee said it was “no longer shameful to work at Yahoo”, maybe Mayer is on the right track to building Yahoo back up.

Image source: Twitter

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