Photo: Charlie Rose
In the past couple days, New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reached out to former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel for advice and the pair had a pleasant phone conversation about the history of Big Purple, a source tells us.Terry Semel was Yahoo’s CEO from 2001 to 2007, when he was fired and replaced by Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang (who was then fired and replaced by someone who was then fired and replaced).
It’s obviously very smart of Mayer to reach out to Semel.
People forget this, because his last few years at Yahoo were ugly, but Semel actually orchestrated a turnaround at the company following the dotcom bust.
At the beginning of his tenure, Yahoo stock bottomed at $4.40 per share. In 2005, it reached $40 per share.
One thing that’s interesting about Mayer getting advice from Semel, is that so far, sources have suggested Mayer has a very different view of what Yahoo should be than the one Semel had.
Semel spent his time at Yahoo turning it into a powerful, content-creating media company.
Mayer was hired by the board because she convinced it the company will only salvage itself by creating great tech products, by creating something to replace email as a reason for people to come to Yahoo.com
Maybe the truth is that Mayer hasn’t fully formed any kind of turnaround plan for Yahoo yet, and that she’s speaking to former executives to learn a little history before plotting the future.
If that’s true, it would be her third brilliant move as Yahoo CEO.