Marissa Mayer And Yahoo Are Headed For A Rough Few First Months Together

Marissa Mayer

Photo: JD Lasica via flickr

It’s hard to find anyone in the industry who is not excited about Yahoo naming Marissa Mayer its CEO.But!

A source plugged-into Yahoo’s ad sales operation tells us that the company is headed for some disappointing sales results in Q3 and Q4 of this year.

This source’s logic:

  • Mayer’s arrival means that several senior Yahoo execs will soon depart. Look for sales bosses Michael Barrett and Wayne Powers to exit within months, says this source.
  • Some top salespeople are already going, including VP Marc Grabowski and Rob Wilkie. With their departure, and others, actual calls out to agencies will decline.
  • Mayer is not as interested in Yahoo’s media business as she is in product development. One sales exec spent a few days at Mayer’s elbow in Sunnyvale and had zero conversations about the state of that side of the business.
  • With yet another new CEO at Yahoo, agencies have grown weary of new strategies and will likely take a “wait-and-see” approach during Mayer’s first few quarters. 

This source, deeply informed of Yahoo’s business and well-connected with its executives, predicts that, while Yahoo’s Q3 sales started strong and that Q4 is already ahead of last year, sales revenues will nevertheless suffer to the tune of $50 million to $100 million in Q3, and $100 million to $200 million in Q4.  (For context: Yahoo sales totaled $1.2 billion last quarter.)

Interestingly, our source on all this data tells us that Mayer was not a bad choice for Yahoo CEO. The point is only that turnover will create some turmoil and choppiness in sales.

The good news for Mayer is that she has an excellent relationship with the board and employees, and she’s probably going to get a pass for several quarters, while she develops a long term strategy.

We reached out to Yahoo PR for this story, and lots of other Yahoo stories, and haven’t heard back.

Related: Facebook Is ‘Full Steam Ahead’ On A New ~$400 Million Business

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