Mayer: Yahoo going back to roots in consumer Internet

Faith Merino · October 22, 2012 · Short URL:

Yahoo releases Q3 earnings and Marissa Mayer outlines her plans for Yahoo going forward

Success!  The Marissa Mayer experiment is paying off for Yahoo (thus far), which released its third quarter earnings Monday and reported revenues (excluding traffic acquisition costs) of $1.09 billion, up 2% from $1.07 billion Q3 2011.

Three months after signing on as Yahoo’s new chief executive officer (and some three weeks after welcoming her first child), Marissa Mayer hopped on the phone for Yahoo’s third-quarter earnings call, and the news is cheery.  The company's income from operations—not including the $2.8 billion gained from the sale of Alibaba shares—totaled $177 million, up 1% from $175 million in the same quarter last year.  Earnings per diluted share were up 66% to 35 cents, beating Wall Street’s expectations of 25 cents per share.

In the call, Mayer went into a little more detail on why she took the job:

“This job is tailor made for me,” she said.  “The core business—search, mail, ads, mobile—those are the core products I built my career upon.  I came to Yahoo to grow and help redefine one of the Internet’s most beloved companies.”

Yahoo’s executive team has been undergoing something of an overhaul over the last several months, bringing on Henrique de Castro as chief operating officer; Ken Goldman as chief financial officer; Ron Bell as general counsel; Jacqueline Reses as executive vice president of people and development; and Kathy Savitt as chief marketing officer.

Mayer also explained her plans for Yahoo’s future, which involves hunkering down on Yahoo’s main products: search, mobile, content, and ads.  She seemed particularly emphatic where mobile was concerned.

“While we’ve made progress, we haven’t capitalized on mobile.  We’ve underinvested and we’ve splintered our brands.  All of this needs to change.  Our top priority is to develop a focused, coherent mobile strategy, accelerating our efforts with product managers and engineers.”

Yahoo’s content business is also booming, with three billion page views during the London Olympics, more than its page views for the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics combined.  Additionally, during the first two weeks of the political conventions, Yahoo’s page views were 45% higher and users spent 35% more time on its election-related content compared with the 2008 election.

Mayer summed up Yahoo’s path going forward quite succinctly: “We’re committed to going back to our roots as a consumer Internet company.”

Yahoo shares were up 4.63% to $16.50 in after-hours trading. 


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