Yahoo Employees: Here's Everything Marissa Mayer Needs To Fix

Photo: Yodel Anecdotal/Flickr

Marissa Mayer has her work cut out for her as the new CEO of Yahoo.There’s a lot that’s wrong with the company, and Yahoo employees are speaking out on job site Glassdoor.

In short, Mayer needs to:

  • Boost Yahoo’s morale. Based on more than 70 reviews in the past few months, 48% per cent of current Yahoo employees feel their company’s outlook will get better compared to 98% of Google employees. Only 65% of Yahoo employees would recommend the company to a friend compared to 90% of Googlers.
  • Impress employees. Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn has received a 76% approval rating to date, while ousted CEO Scott Thompson left with a 48% approval rating, Carol Bartz was fired with a 54% approval rating, interim CEO Timothy Morse received 42% approval, and Yahoo co-founder & former CEO Jerry Yang held 43% approval. Mayer needs to up her percentage if she wants to gain a loyal following at Yahoo. (The average CEO rating on Glassdoor is 62% approval)
  • Nix office politics and innovate.

Yahoo Employee: A current services engineer in Sunnyvale

Pros of working for Yahoo: Good culture and friendly working env.

Cons of working for Yahoo: Too many mid-layer managers not really help company move up!

Employee's advice to Senior Management: Cut 2-3 layer mid-layer managers, the company should run better!

Yahoo Employee: A current software developer in Sunnyvale

Pros of working for Yahoo: Amazing work culture, friendly environment

Cons of working for Yahoo: High attrition rate inconsistent company strategy and roadmap

Employee's advice to Senior Management: Retain what you can

Yahoo Employee: Current tech lead in Bangalore (India)

Pros of working for Yahoo: Uses the latest and best of technologies. Great people around; work-life is well maintained.

Cons of working for Yahoo: Frequent Re-orgs. These re-orgs disturb the whole organisation. Some of the re-orgs result in firing of the employees and scrapping of projects.

Employee's advice to Senior Management: The re-orgs disturb the whole organisation. Make it as minimum as possible.

Yahoo Employee: Former Director, Product Management in Sunnyvale

Pros of working for Yahoo: Great people, competitive salaries + benefits. Yahoo! has a lot of great products - it's a shame that there isn't a tighter/closer integration between them

Cons of working for Yahoo: Too many silos to work through; you spend more time in meetings than doing actual work (work frequently spills into evenings). Lack of consolidated vision for the company. Most people work hard, some are hiding in the gaps.

Yahoo Employee: Former senior software engineer in Sunnyvale

Pros of working for Yahoo: Fun chill culture, great products, huge audience and great technology.
Lots of opportunities to interact with users and industry peers. Clear career development paths. Good benefit.

Cons of working for Yahoo: Yahoo! started as a technology company and created a lot of great technologies that are the bests in the industry and got adopted by many other peers, however, leadership team does not know how to leverage these great technologies and pursuit media path ...

Employee's advice to Senior Management: Go back to technology route and keep innovating.

Yahoo Employee: Current manager in Sunnyvale

Pros of working for Yahoo: Great Salary, Awesome work environment, and kick arse benefits.

Cons on working for Yahoo: Maybe some drainage of talent but we are ramping up and will be competitive very soon.

Employee's advice to Senior Management: Lets keep hiring great Talent into the company at any cost.

Yahoo employee: Former senior software engineer in Sunnyvale

Pros of working for Yahoo: Great pay, great perks (on-site gym, on-site oil change, onsite massage .... these things can be invaluable)

Great technology (after 15 years of accumulation, it's got many secrets that outsiders don't know, what we had was already the best after trial and error). Great people (at least before the large-scale attrition in recent years) so that you can learn a lot from them

Cons of working for Yahoo: Some important strategic initiatives not pushing through. Yes they are delivered, but the effects are not as great as wanted, so that they did not manage to turn the tide for the company's fate.

Employee's advice to Senior Management: Unfortunately the tech industry needs more hype and buzz these days to consider Yahoo a hot player in the market. Even though Yahoo has good money flow, it's being ridiculed for not having as much hype as FB, for example.

Yahoo Employee: Current business systems analyst in Sunnyvale

Pros of working for Yahoo: Lots of smart colleagues to learn from. Wonderful laid back environment. Flexible Hours. Well rewarded for good performance. Foosball and pool tables; tasty cafeteria.

Cons of working for Yahoo: Comparatively underpaid. Dirty politics in some teams. Too much process. A little behind in adapting cutting edge analytics. Should provide a little training for engineers moving into data analysis.

Employee's advice to Senior Management: Increase the pay to avoid people jumping ships.
Crush politics and people going behind the backs of colleagues.

Yahoo employee: Current senior program manager, Burbank

Pros of working for Yahoo: Great colleagues, environment. Pay and benefits are top notch. A ton of interesting challenges and people who want to tackle them.

Cons of working for Yahoo: Frequent turmoil at the executive level which eventually bleeds down into uncertainty and change at all levels.

Yahoo employee: Former senior marketing manager, New York

Pros of working for Yahoo: Massive scale, good pay at high levels.

Cons of working for Yahoo: No idea how to develop the talent they have.

Employee's advice to senior management: When acquiring a company, talk to the employees before integrating them. Not so hard...

Yahoo employee: Current anonymous employee

Pros of working for Yahoo: Very approachable senior management. Nothing else I can think of.

Cons of working for Yahoo: Too many people managing the show, rather than adding any value at all.
Keeps building products with total disregard to what works does not work in the field. Nothing seems to be going right here.

Employee's advice to senior management: Please do something different, rather than trying to be so inward focused.

Yahoo employee: Current producer in Munich, Germany

Pros of working for Yahoo:

  • Opportunity to work with world-class technology & people
  • Good & cooperative atmosphere among colleagues
  • International environment without any prejudice against foreigners
  • Good hardware equipment for all business units & easy software approvals
  • Nice & modern office in the city centre (Munich, Germany)
  • Voucher coupons for lunch breaks (probably only in Germany)
  • Cool social area for breaks including a PS3 running FIFA soccer, Foosball table, Tschibo coffee machines
  • A lot of meeting rooms including two hi-end video conferencing setups (Munich, Germany)

Cons of working for Yahoo:

  • Dishonest managers especially at the mid-level who think they will never need to work again after being promoted.
  • Good tech people get promoted to managers, get a 1-week manager-training and fail badly.
  • Reward system not working. People getting promoted by threatening to leave. No transparency or career development.
  • Yearly Focal performance review process is a mess where you colleagues can really hurt you. It's not used to develop people but to annoy people so much that they leave on their own.
  • Frustrating re-orgs or unnecessary business unit naming changes
  • Wrong people get hired as everyone is scared to lose the headcount approval and not many people apply. HR support is almost non existent.

Employee's advice to senior management: Go back to school. Especially the mid-level management looks like a bunch of control-freaks who think they can achieve their goals by pressuring their people instead of improving the process. Stop playing politics and silo-wars between business units but build partnerships. Show true leadership by getting your hands dirty and actually do something. My review is 4 of 5 as I think this mid-level management problem is wide-spread across the IT industry.

Now meet the woman who's been hired to solve all of Yahoo's problems:

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