Investors have huge expectations from Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s newly appointed CEO, Marissa Mayer. She recently unveiled her plans to restructure the company. AllThingsD discovered that her strategic vision tracks closely with the company’s “Three-Year Product Strategy” plan, a 21-page internal memo, prepared by the company’s former product head, Blake Irving, in August 2011.
Though the document is more than a year old, it outlines the same things discussed by Mayer: mobile, personalization, social, improving the advertising platforms, and the likes. She talked about infusing deep personalization into advertising and consumer experience, delighting the customers with best-in-class products, developing real social relationships across the web, expanding to the mobile platform, and creating a digital media ecosystem. That’s what Irving had outlined, before five CEOs came and left Yahoo.
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During the Question & Answer session at Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s Sunnyvale, Calif. campus on October 25, an employee did point out that her presentation is more like what Irving had proposed last year. Mayer said that Irving’s plan was never implemented, due to non-stop management crises. When the employee asked again, “What’s different this time?”, Mayer said that she will execute the strategy well.
Irving’s memo, embedded below, clearly shows Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s challenges and competition. The report says, “Yahoo! does not have an audience problem, as we are growing on pace with the Internet. Yahoo! does, however, have an engagement problem, as our share of time spent is flat, relative to our competitors.”
Irving said that in order for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) to grow in the advertising market, the Internet giant must reach parity and create strategic differentiation against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). It’s a lot easier said than done.
Mayer has started reshuffling the top management of Yahoo, by replacing the executives with people of her own choice. She recently fired Tim Morse, who served as interim CEO, before Mayer came on board. Let’s see where Yahoo is heading under the new management team.