(Edit: my definition of risk is lost time and missed opportunity. She's not going to suffer in compensation or reputation.)
She is stagnating at Google. She had high ranking high influence positions at Google but over the years has been relegated to a position that has little visibility and control, mostly due to her non execution. This is a great opportunity for her to make some serious cash and be the "top dog" in a kennel of average dogs, rather than the opposite at Google.
Also, even if she crashes and burns at Yahoo, she will get many more opportunities simply due to the brand recognition she has due to her tenure at Google.
I remember long ago hearing her push the notion that all design and interface decisions must be tested. I remember thinking that is just a recipe for non-execution with the goal of never being "wrong".
I just can't get over how hilarious this situation is.
What about their cultures make this situation hilarious, and how come you're convinced that Mayer won't make a difference?
What risk? She's already achieved complete financial security from here time at Google. At Yahoo! she'll be taking the reins of a company that still attracts a massive userbase but is aching for someone with a fresh viewpoint on how to transform the company. Nothing buy potential IMO.
Don't you think Mayer has enough capital, connections, reputation, experience, etc. that if she started a company to do what she wanted, how she wanted, it would be completely different from your average college-grad startup?
I mean, come on now. There's no comparing the two.
Oblig car metaphor: That's like saying hey, as an alternative to a free Lamborghini Aventador, you can have an old Pontiac Fiero chassis, and a Chevy 350 with a blown head gasket. If you're really lucky and amazing you might make something worth 1/10th what the Lamborghini is.
So you can dredge it up, and perhaps restore it to it's original glory...or you can go out and build your own, new dream car from scratch.
Either way it's going to be a TON of work to get to a truly valuable (and fun to drive) vehicle...
Building a successful company is not a joke even if you have knowledge and connections. Users don't value what and whom you know.
At her level and for all she has done, getting to be the CEO of a billion dollar firm is actually a great deal.
Looking at it from other way around, Her career at Google might have probably come to a halt given the fact that Larry and Sergey are going to be there around for a long time to come. On the other hand, she could not be the CEO of a successful firm- Because such stints demand prior experience.
In short the change she got now is because, the company is currently a underdog. No big CEO who is already on a wave of success will take up that kind of a job. She needs the company because she gets to be the CEO and nobody else would offer her the same position.
In many ways this is a no brainer.
I have no idea how a Pontiac Fiero or a Chevy 350 compares to a Lamborghini Aventator without looking it up. All I know is that all three are probably luxury automobiles. I have even less of clue about what a head gasket might be.
On the other hand, if you tried to explain something to me by using a job at Google, Yahoo, and a start-up as analogies, it would definitely help make things more understandable.
Otherwise, I fully agree with your point. I like cars and had no clue what, exactly, the Pontiac Fiero or the Chevy 350 were as I'm not American and those are American cars. Around here German(Mercedes, BMW, Audi, VW) and Japanese(Mazda, Subary, Toyota, ...) cars are much much more common.
Chevy 350: Basically a commodity engine. 5.7L pushrod V-8. Used in lots of GM vehicles from the late 60s through the early 90s. Camaros, Corvettes, Cadiallacs etc. Built tough, cheap, and there are a gazillion aftermarket parts available.
Unless you were going for a race car or something it's quite uncommon to have a 5.7L engine in anything but an American car.
Plus, if you weren't here, you might not appreciate just how horrible the "EPA era" engines were. Much stricter emission controls + not having the technology to really meet it led to some really de-tuned engines. Wouldn't be unusual for a 5-6L engine in those days to only make 140-160HP stock.
If Elon Musk and a new Stanford grad started brand new companies on the same day, would both companies be old busted cars with blown head gaskets?
Also, the metaphor is a bit flawed by likening the 17-year-old floundering company to a new sports car and a hypothetical new company as something that's already worthless because of wear and tear.
I think it's a great move, and Google is probably in favor of it.
Please spare us the silly abbreviations.
The only reason to expect Mayer to do well as the CEO of Yahoo would be if her work at Google were similar to that job in some respect. I'm not sure it is.
If you wrestle with a pig, both of you get dirty, and the pig enjoys it.
Meyer's a superstar right now. Yahoo's had an anti-Midas touch on several people who've attempted to steer it right.
Now she could fail in ways that are so bad that it does harm her reputation, certainly. I tend to agree with those that think as long as she doesn't fail for reasons that make her look really bad, her reputation won't suffer too much.
Also if Yahoo is marginally successful she may get an outsized boost - due to others failing to do even that.
I think Mayer is the right choice.
So Yahoo's now the Erymanthian boar?
Time to divert Los Gatos Creek and the Guadalupe River. But I think the stench is stronger than them.
Prior to joining google in 1999 as employee number 20 "Mayer worked at the UBS research lab (Ubilab) in Zurich, Switzerland, and at SRI International in Menlo Park, California" (wikipedia) for what appears to be only a few years. (She graduated high school in 1993, received a B.S. and and M.S. which must have taken at least 4 or 5 years afaik).
My guess is that she has a great deal of confidence, confidence built on the fact that she was an early google employee and she was able to ride the success of that opportunity. But her entire working career is basically google and I'm not sure she brings the depth of experience necessary to take on turning around the fortunes of Yahoo.
At the very least, Mayer has been part of a real leading tech organization that grew from nothing to everything in record time. That's experience that is also very difficult to replicate. And, the skills she's known for within Google are all product oriented, and that's where Yahoo has failed so miserably and Google has succeeded so fantastically.
For IBM, the decision to hire a non-technical and experienced CEO turned out OK. IBM turned around. But I'd agree that this is probably an exception to the rule.
I think the key here is fresh thinking and ability to get the political/operational/strategic stars aligned inside the organization to /cough/ execute. An experienced person may bring this to the table, and a lesser experienced person may bring this to the table. The key is whether it's brought to the table.
I've had the opportunity to work with people who were very good at personal public relations, and based on that experience, I'm skeptical. Constantly selling your public image means that you can't be wrong, which always results in revisionist history and oddball situations.
Hopefully I'm wrong -- Yahoo needs help, and she does have a good story.
What I was expecting was that she would leave and start some sort cross between 'solve a world issue' with 'easy accessibility' kinds of UI. At Google her strength was having a clear idea of how to speak to users through UX, The Yahoo gig can use that, certainly, but watching the succession of failures and missteps at Yahoo the issues aren't primarily UX or users, it seems like Yahoo is in a major identity crisis about what exactly it actually is.
When one of their recruiters was trying to convince me to join the pitch was this:
"Yahoo is the premier digital media company
Yahoo! delivers amazing personalized digital content and experiences, across devices and around the globe, to vast audiences. We provide engaging and innovative canvases for advertisers to connect with their target audiences using our unique blend of Science + Art + Scale."
To which my response was "Really?", if someone were to ask me what the "Premier digital media company" was I don't think I'd respond "Yahoo!"
Hence my surprise.
I think when people hear the phrase "digital media", they think of it has traditional-media-delivered-digitally. But I think the internet enables entirely new variations of traditional media, tailor-made for our hypersocial, crowdsourced, and attentionless internet society.
It may be that I think 'education/entertainment' more than I think 'discovery' when I think digital media. If Yahoo claimed to be the digital media discovery company that might be the starting point for a bigger vision.
They are a company filled with brilliant engineers (who give us things like Hadoop), yet they only want to be a media company.
And possibly who to poach from google.
Andreessen also said he's "super-happy" for Mayer, because she's ready to step into a CEO role at a major tech company.
But can she actually turn Yahoo around? Andressen declined to offer any suggestions for areas that the company should pursue, and he also cautioned that it's hard to think of many Web companies that succeeded in turning themselves around.
"On the other hand, it's hard to overestimate how screwed Apple was in 1997," Andreessen said. "Tech comapnies can in fact be turned around. The problem is, there aren't a lot of Steve Jobs characters running around."
Basically, if she makes it, she's "a Steve Jobs character" and if not, well, it's hard to turn tech companies around.
What a time for Marissa Mayer to take control at Yahoo. She'll need all the smarts she can lay her hands on to revive an ailing Yahoo.
It's already being set up so that the expectation is "she'll probably fail, because ANYONE will fail" but if she succeeds she's a miracle worker or "a Steve Jobs character".
I agree, I think Elop made bad decisions which were massively swayed by Elop's attachment to Microsoft.
Are you serious? Have you seen what's happened to Yahoo's CEOs since ... ever?
In this case she's presenting herself as a turnaround expert. I'm surprised she didn't sign on with a pre-IPO darling like Twitter or Facebook long ago.
Not to mention she is more-then-likely financially taken-care of. At that point, 'risk' is almost negligible. It's all just 'more possibilities' for Mrs. Mayer.
This is a hilarious situation.
I don't think Yahoo particularly needs a nice person as CEO right now. Their culture is dysfunctional enough that they probably need a Steve Jobs type, someone with clear opinions who's willing to ruffle a lot of feathers (and make a bunch of people quit). Steve Jobs wasn't really a nice person either.
The biggest risk I see is that there is a huge difference in her role. At Google she stood atop a pyramid of other geniuses, with similar backgrounds and values, and was a filter for their ideas. At Yahoo she's dealing with a culture where engineering is not the highest value, and she's going to have to get off the top perch and descend into the ranks, clearing out the enemies of progress which exist at every level.
It can help you find local maxima, but not the global maximum you are (or should be) looking for.
A big part -- a necessary part -- of the way Jobs changed the culture at Apple was by bringing in a lot of people who had been loyal to him for years at Next and elsewhere. I can't think of any cases where an outsider has parachuted into a large company, by invitation or otherwise, and turned it around by himself/herself.
Can/will Mayer do that? If so, where will the required team of revolutionaries and revanchists come from? If she doesn't (or can't) raid Google, then where will she get the people she will need?
I wouldn't be terribly surprised if one of Marissa's first moves is to fire all the middle management and then promote a bunch of longtime individual contributors into their place.
"Working with Zuck"
"Every time Zuck looks at a product, it is as if he does so with fresh eyes... He doesn't care what he said yesterday"
I'm not saying she is at all comparable to Steve Jobs, but it sounds like they both know what they want, and don't spend a lot of time with what they think is wrong.
I've said this often, but Jobs was about 50% right and 50% wrong. When Jobs was wrong, it was usually a small strikeout, but when he was right, they were monster home runs, which is why people tolerated Jobs' behavior. Mayer needs to be right a lot more than she is wrong, so I guess we'll have to see how that pans out.
But since you brought up the testing of 41 shades of blue, I guess you didn't hear this story about Steve Jobs obsessing over the yellow gradient on Google's icon on the iPhone.
Edit: Oddly enough I can not reply to the comment below. My statement wasn't meant to be critical but more on the curious side. The "41 shades of blue" story sounded always intriguing, so I was wondering if there are any other traces of her research activities.
Wasn't topped until 2008...
Further, I would say the people who want to judge a character by a few anecdotes are being lazy, small minded, and short sighted. Jobs, Gates, and Mayer are all different people with their own styles. I'm not sure if Mayer's style will be what Yahoo needs, but I wish her the best of luck.
That description of her didn't include a single word saying anything positive about how she did her job. No description of Jobs of similar length, regardless of how much the writer hated him, would have failed to mention that Jobs also had many positive qualities.
But he was critical of her, and there were lots of hints of bad blood between them in his book. Although he always remains very subtle in whatever he says.
Reading that comment, you share, reminded me of some sections of the book.
(1) In most situations, you will have a smart, rational person you might be aware of in the layer that he/she reports into (though preferable, not necessarily her direct boss). Talk to them about what you see as problems.
Be prepared to back up your claims with documented, solid evidence of the behavior. Keep emotional, hyperbolic, prejudicial expressions or assertions to yourself - they will only work against you in such situations.
Be as paranoid as you can be about who you can trust to back you up in your peer group in case there has to be a discussion. Knowing people who're discontent like you helps only if you know they won't stab you in the back.
Avoid ultimatums. Express faith in the system and the ability for the person to change. Express willingness to change yourself. In other words, come off as the bigger person right from the beginning and at all times.
(2) Have an exit strategy if the situation turns on you. This could include escalation to several layers (CEO/Board) above the layers you're dealing with and looking out for a new job.
Based on past bitter experience I've boiled this down to, "Don't be easy to dismiss."
Ross Levinsohn (Interim) (2012)
Scott Thompson (2012)
Tim Morse (Interim) (2011-2012)
Carol Bartz (2009-2011)
Jerry Yang (2007-2009)
Terry Semel (2001-2007)
Timothy Koogle (1995-2001)
I seriously hope that the Board of Directors has some idea of what they're doing, because their track record certainly doesn't look like it.
EDIT: To be clear, this wasn't meant as a slam on Marissa. What I meant was "It looks like the Board has created a toxic environment that no one could survive."
Alfred Amoroso - Chairman, Yahoo! Inc.
John Hayes - Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, American Express Company
Sue James - Retired Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
David Kenny - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Weather Channel Companies
Peter Liguori - Former Chief Operating Officer, Discovery Communications, Inc. Former Chairman and President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company
Daniel Loeb - Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Third Point LLC
Thomas McInerney - Former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, IAC/InterActiveCorp
Brad Smith - President and Chief Executive Officer, Intuit Inc.
Maynard Webb - Founder, Webb Investment Network, Chairman of the Board, LiveOps, Inc.
Harry Wilson - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MAEVA Group, LLC
Michael Wolf - Chief Executive Officer and President, Activate Strategy, Inc.
Does everyone just sit around asking eachother "What the fuck does this company do, and how are we still in business?"
Seriously, what does Yahoo do? I don't know, because I haven't been their website since the 1990's. They obviously don't make software or hardware products, because I don't own any and have never paid for any of their products. I have no use for whatever services they might offer because I've never heard of anyone praising or recommending their services. I honestly would like to know how Yahoo still exists.
I think Marissa Mayer has a much harder task in front of her than she might think. Yahoo really doesn't do anything, or have products. How is she going to improve that which does not exist?
Used to be on a couple of private mailing lists through their groups, but those have both moved to private google groups over the years.
You know what I'd honestly like to see them do? Compete with Google, head on. I think search and ads are both stagnant markets compared to what they should be. I would absolutely love to see her knock Google out of its complacency and get those worlds moving forward again.
She could pull the talent together to do it, I think, if she was bold enough.
The problem is I'm not sure she's bold enough. But Yahoo absolutely requires gigantic boldness. It's the main quality they need at the top, honestly.
In the same way you can't attribute past failures to Mayer, you can't attribute them to the current Board either.
Prediction: Sometime in near future some sort of very close partnership will happen between Google and Yahoo, subject to regulatory approval of course.
Edit: Fixed "MS CEO" to "Nokia CEO" typo. Thanks kreilly
Another prediction: such partnership won't help Google very much, but will hurt Microsoft a bit -- due to Yahoo shying away from Bing and possibly MS e-mail technology.
It may also well help developers -- Yahoo's YUI is a very handy and very relevant toolkit; with Marissa as the CEO, I sure hope Yahoo will embrace developers more and YUI will get some more love.
This is where they were the year Jobs returned, remember: http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/gadgetlab/wired+cover.jpg
SanDisk went in the relative dumper following the memory glut in ~2009 but seems to have been recovering under Mehrotra for about a year now
And a great turn around (and around) story is Seagate, who tanked, went private around 2000, came out and soared mid-2000 and is sort of tanking again even under chairman Stephen Luczo's leadership
"How Lou Gerstner Got IBM To Dance"
Also, Michael Dell returning to his company has been a solid turn around in regards to profitability and improvement in product quality, both of which had languished under the former chief. It doesn't show in the stock valuation because of substantial PE compression, but Michael Dell has taken the company from losing money briefly and having some accounting scandals, to a solid level of profitability in the last few years.
Anyway, that aside. One thing that I hope that comes from this, is bringing some of the same Google-quality-developer-friendly-ethos to Yahoo. Dispite consuming several Yahoo services, I'm always disappointed at how slow they release changes... and if there is one thing that Yahoo needs it's changes..
 June 16th, "Marrissa Meyer Makes Move to Yahoo",
 June 20th, Yahoo switches from Bing to Google Search.
 July 21th, Bing sees enormous drop in QPM.
Coup of the century? Who would of thought, should this actually happen, it would be the best possible outcome. Sacrificing the queen to totally dominate the search market even further.
Disclaimer: IANAL and this post does not constitute legal advice of any kind.
Psst: It's July.
(Couldn't help myself :-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cukFl7gpjE (Crockford takes the stage ~5:09 )
Forking a project isn't a healthy thing to do, unless there's something seriously wrong with the existing community (e.g. XFree86). As far as I can tell:
* The nodejs community is healthy and vibrant.
* There are no systemic problems with contribution.
* Isaac Schultner has his head on straight, has reasonable priorities, and is a pleasant character.
* Much, if not most, of node's development is happening outside Joyent anyway.
* Nothing is stopping Yahoo from contributing to the existing project.
Even if all of the above were false, why does Crockford think the remnants of Yahoo's engineering can do better? Joyent is filled with Sun's top talent, and the engineering division is run by an enlightened alpha engineer.
I cannot help but think this is a case of sour grapes by Crockford, because there just doesn't seem to be a good reason for his stance.
Edit: as an aside, his idea of rewriting everything in node is a bit ridiculous too. I've been a part of several projects to rewrite code, for smaller things than all of Yahoo's online assets, and it sure took longer than one year to do a good job even with excellent engineers. This is a long-term project, not something you do to fix the immediate bleeding. This, and forking node, are very strange things to focus on right now given Yahoo's difficulties.
Or you have goals which are substantially different from the goals of the original project.
Lets not forget that parts of Android are 'forked' from Linux (and were later merged back).
I've always admired her, she seems to be very smart and has her finger on the pulse on what the Internet is all about, so if anyone can turn Yahoo around it's her.
I sincerely hope she has the intestinal fortitude to do WHATEVER it takes to revitalize Yahoo. The first thing I would do is get rid of the entire board of directors, they need a complete reboot as well.
Do you really believe that? I mean, of all the potential candidates out there, she has the best pedigree?
I think the negative commentary stems from there. You think this is a coup. To me, it's sort of a ho-hum, predictable hiring. Yahoo! needs an overhaul as a business, and to do so they hired someone with SV name power.
Think about it, who would you have as CEO of Yahoo? John Chambers? Larry Ellison? The CEO of Hulu? Mark Hurd? Jerry Yang? Tim Cook?
I think Mayer is better qualified than anyone else that is available because she is an expert on the space. When she joined Google, the mainstream Internet was less than 5 years old. Her entire career has been built on the Internet. If she went to any large company like IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco, EMC, you name it, I would think it wouldn't be a good fit, because she wouldn't be an expert on the space.
Mayer has been with Google since practically the beginning, and as an executive, she has participated in the decisions and actions required to create and maintain a world-class engineering organization. As well, being an early employee and not just surviving but thriving, I'd be willing to bet that Mayer has done more as an engineer than most engineers at Yahoo, except maybe Filo, so that gives her incredible technical legitimacy. So, yes, I believe she is extremely qualified to run a company like Yahoo.
You can't just stick a "turnaround expert" in the shoes of Yahoo CEO and expect a great result. You need someone that understands the space, and can make the tough and right decisions that can put Yahoo back on track. Everyone that they've chosen as CEO since Yang just felt like they were trying to salvage as much of Yahoo as possible, and sell it to some other company or PE fund, and give up. By choosing Mayer, it means they are serious about trying to put Yahoo back on the right path again, and not just selling it off. I'm pretty sure this will motivate the current troops at Yahoo.
The only other interesting choice for CEO might be Reed Hastings, but he's taken already. The Yahoo board could have elected to try to acquire Netflix and put Hastings as CEO of the combined company, which would have been interesting. I still prefer the choice of Mayer though, because it shows a lot of guts, both on the part of Yahoo and Mayer.
You do know there's a world of business outside the Valley, right? I'm not implying that she wouldn't be a good fit and very capable at many jobs or positions. But Yahoo!'s days are becoming numbered. When I think about what she could have possibly experienced at Google versus what Yahoo! needs as a company (which is a corporate and strategic overhaul), I can't understand where she'd have obtained anything remotely like "turn-around" expertise. Yahoo! is going to require some outside-the-box thinking, and this hiring is about as inside-the-box as it could be (along with every other name you mentioned would have been).
But this is just one man's opinion. I hope she can pull it off; it'd be a great story.
>"You can't just stick a "turnaround expert" in the shoes of Yahoo CEO and expect a great result. You need someone that understands the space"
Why can't you? What exactly is Yahoo!'s "space"? Of all the poor decisions made by Yahoo! of late, why do you trust that this was suddenly a stroke of genius?
really? any evidence for this? (not snark, genuinely curious) I've never heard of Marissa Mayer as a top 1% engineer (vs a 'strong' manager)
Mayer is a big coup for Yahoo, and the investors may back her if she wants to clean house with the board, but I wouldn't necessarily expect it to happen; it's unclear if Mayer really sees the board as part of the problem, and as Mayer is coming from outside of the organization, she may lack the close ties to other Yahoo execs that would be necessary to pull such a move off.
1. Running a public company is vastly different and considerably more complex than managing large teams. She has to build an executive team capable of executing on all fronts. This is beyond hiring the best engineers and product managers, it is about hiring a CFO, COO, GMs, VPs, etc. that can execute on the plan set out by the CEO.
2. Managing a stagnating business requires different skills than a rapidly growing business. Google benefitted from exponential growth in usage, users, revenue. Yahoo is already over the hill. Most incoming CEOs do a top-down review of the business to understand assets and liabilities. They visit customers and large investors. In the end, they have to present a credible plan to the BOD for refocusing the business. Where should you invest or divest? Should you be aligned along product lines, geographically, or along customer segments?
3. Yahoo needs deep tech investments - to do so, it must attract and retain brilliant engineers. It is my understanding that Ms. Mayer's focus at google has been product and not technology. Without proper engineering, the best product ideas will fizzle. How will Ms. Mayer attract the best engineers to Yahoo? Without growth, it is hard to convince the best engineers to join your shop.
For upper level executives as soon as you resign you're escorted out the door by security and you're not allowed to touch anything. The level of access you had was so high that they don't want you learning anything more about the company's plans and want you out asap.
I doubt anyone cared that she resigned by phone.
In most cases 2 weeks is a professional curtesy.
Also, once they've resigned, they're no longer an employee, so for a lot of companies (Google included) they may not be allowed in the sensitive office areas, anyway.
I think that particular practice is security theater - it's so the employer can say "We take all possible precautions", regardless of whether the possible precautions are effective.
Is it mostly for form? Probably, but there's a reason it's considered the right process. It's not done for "theater", it's done because sometimes these things end up in court later on.
There's no particular reason for that effective date to be "now" vs. "two weeks from now". I've certainly had coworkers that announced their intention to resign 2 weeks or a month before their actual departure (actually, the one time I've quit a job, I think I stayed for a couple weeks afterwards wrapping up my project & transferring knowledge). The difference is only that in one case, the employee is intending to resign but you don't know about it, but in the other, the employee is intending to resign but you do know about it.
Let's keep in mind this is also someone who is leaving voluntarily, not being laid off. They are picking their moment when they become a non-employee.
Could any of us here on HN forge a great, long term business from a profit stream of hundreds of millions of dollars? I'm sure quite a few could, and Meyer surely stands a good chance.
Even if she has to turn the organization upside down, make major branding changes, or fire key staff, Yahoo! has the resources, at least, to change for the better. It has just lacked the willpower, till now hopefully.
If she fails, could anyone fault her?
I see no outsized downsides for her here - she either succeeds or Yahoo continues to fail. For Yahoo, this is a high-profile CEO who, if the board gives enough maneuvering space, might prevent the free-fall and establish a stable flight.
I think Yahoo's problem is the fact that its search side of things has collapsed. Primarily it was this that made the company so big. Now that search has effectively collapsed they don't appear to have a core product.
This means the question "What does Yahoo! do?" can't really be answered.
If you ask that question of Google. You answer. Google is a search engine which also does...
If you ask that question of Amazon. Amazon is an online store which also does...
With Yahoo? Yahoo.. owns a bunch on interesting products? It has no core and without a big central product to build around it has been hard for successive CEO's to actually drive the company forward.
I have no idea what Mayer can do to resolve this.
She risks "failure" at Yahoo, but that's why this is the right move. What was she to do at Google -- just drift along as the cofounders continue to (rightly) control the company?
I've never been a huge fan nor a detractor of Mayer, but I'll be rooting for Yahoo now. It's about time for another epic comeback story in SV. Long odds, but that's why this is fun.
That must have been an interesting call (to Larry?) to make...
Despite the obvious value to them, the product was and remains very poor.
"women are more likely to occupy positions that are precarious and thus have a higher risk of failure - either because they are appointed to lead organizational units that are in crisis or because they are not given the resources and support needed for success"
Of course now we have to see if potential acquirers (particularly those going up against Google) suddenly see Yahoo as a much better target if they can get Mayer in the deal. (MS, FB, I'm looking at you!)
Flickr is profitable and awesome!