Yahoo’s Mayer Returns, With Plans To Hold All-Employee Meetings


After taking a very brief maternity leave, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s CEO Melissa Mayer will return to work and hit the ground running with all-employee meetings on Thursday. Called “Goals All Hands,” Mayer will hold morning and afternoon gatherings with her employees, according to All Things D’s Kara Swisher.

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The news came in an internal memo, and included information indicating that the meetings will discuss “rolling out a new system and process for goals for the company.”

Mayer also wrote in the memo:

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“Moving forward, we will have both annual goals and quarterly goals that we will all commit to, track, and grade ourselves based on. The Thursday meetings will roll out the first set of goals at the company level. We will then cascade the goals down through the company at the department, team, and individual level — more information on the process will be provided on this at the meeting.”

The meetings shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, as they had previously been implied in Mayer’s plans last month.

In addition to Mayer further outlining her plans for the company, Thursday’s meetings will also offer an opportunity to get to know her new September hire, Jackie Reses, EVP of people and development.

The addition raised a few eyebrows given that Rese didn’t bring any experience in the technology arena, and as noted by Swisher, Mayer has her “responsible for leading human resources and talent acquisition, as well as corporate and business development globally”, as noted in Yahoo’s press release.

This is combined with Reses’s M&A responsibilities, which will not only include cleaning house of current executives, but acquiring new ones though acquisitions.

Reses does bring experience as a media leader through her Apax Partners tenure; she grew a team of professionals who emphasized media and technology businesses investments.

Her hiring has not been perceived as a big coup, but Reses does have a respected name in her industry.

Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Press+ co-founder and angel investor, said via All Things D, “Jackie had a reputation in New York for being a super smart and creative private-equity investor, which included ensuring the right executives in the right roles at companies where her firm made investments. She was also one of a small handful of women in the leveraged buyout part of private equity, which shows she has the grit and perseverance that always comes in handy.”

Swisher kept digging on this unknown new technology executive and learned that Reses left Apax last year. According to sources, she did so after disagreements over its “future strategic direction and investments.”

Before joining Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Reses created a new fund, D Cubed Group, and is one of its three managing directors. The focus is education.

Will this somehow make its way into Yahoo?

Reses has been assisting Mayer with some acquisitions, including talent and a possible company in the consumer space, muses Swisher, or in advertising tech with some companies, including Criteo, Mediaocean and Turn.

And then there’s PubMatic as a possible Yahoo acquisition. It received $45 million in funding from August Capital in June, and with a Yahoo deal, it could build on the ad platform offerings at Yahoo.

PubMatic assists publishers with managing display ad inventory, and is a competitor to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Admeld.

Yahoo is currently up 0.60% to $15.93.

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