In new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s first memo to employees, she wrote that she has “some ideas” on how to turn the company around, but could not elaborate more at this time.She said she needs “to develop a more informed perspective before making strategy or direction changes.”
We know what one of those ideas is, and it’s pretty simple: Mayer wants to hire more front line engineers – a lot more.
According to a source familiar with Mayer’s conversations with Yahoo’s board prior to her hiring, she told the board that a quick examination of its headcount and org structure made it clear to her that the company does not have the kind of engineer-to-everyone else ratio that Google or Facebook has, and that fixing that ratio would be among her top priorities.
This might seem like an obvious move, but consider that before Yahoo’s board hired Mayer, it considered making Ross Levinsohn CEO. One of his first moves was going to be to get rid of thousands of engineers by shipping off Yahoo’s ad tech business.
Likewise, Carol Bartz’s signature move was shipping Yahoo’s search business – and many of the engineers running it – off to Microsoft.