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During her first quarter on the job, Yahoo employees gave CEO Marissa Mayer a 97% approval rating.That number is now down to 80%.
That’s according to Glassdoor.com, a site where employees can review their employers and their bosses.
One of Mayer’s key focuses has been improving morale at Yahoo.
She’s brought in standard Silicon Valley perks like free food and smartphones for all fulltime employees. She’s also planned a fairly elaborate Christmas party. A couple weekends ago, she put up ~80 Yahoo execs for a retreat at the luxurious Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay.
Yahoo product development has also kicked into a new gear under Mayer. After years of stalling, the company finally released a mobile version of Flickr earlier this month. It’s also pushed a new homepage and new Yahoo Mail across four platforms.
Meanwhile, thanks to a massive share buyback, Wall Street has rewarded the company with a rich stock price.
So what gives? We have three theories:
- 97% is insanely high. It had to come down some. Mayer hasn’t actually turned around Yahoo yet, after all.
- Mayer knows Yahoo needs to cut costs, and that means firing people. But we’ve heard she’s not going to do it one big layoff. She’s going to do it sniper style. That can hurt morale because employees don’t know when the firings are over, or if they’ll be next.
- Mayer has played hardball with top executives she wants out of the company, refusing to give them golden parachutes. Last week, for example, she canned the former CEO of a company Yahoo acquired just days before he was to get a big retention bonus. Maybe this behavoir is rubbing some in the rank and file the wrong way.
Big picture, an 80% approval rating is still pretty good compared to Yahoo CEOs of the past.
CEO Scott Thompson had a 48% approval rating when he got booted. Carol Bartz, 54% approval rating. Only interim CEO Ross Levinsohn approached Mayer’s levels with a 76%.