If Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Is Out, Who Would Be In?

Updated on

Yahoo has seen an exceptionally high level of turnover in its C-suite of late, and now there are murmurings that CEO Marissa Mayer may be next. Investors may be getting tired of waiting for the turnaround initiatives to take as questions about the health of the company’s core business begin to swirl. Just this month, Starboard Value offered up some suggestions to get things moving along.

What if Mayer is out at Yahoo?

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck offered up some thoughts on the management situation at Yahoo in a report dated Nov. 30. He said investors have been questioning what will happen to Yahoo stock if there’s a change at the helm. After conversations with some of the industry’s top participants, he considered what attributes would be needed in a candidate if Yahoo decides to dump Mayer and named ten of the top potential candidates.

Peck identified five main attributes that might shape Yahoo’s selection process. The first is public CEO experience, while the second is familiarity with Yahoo and its core business, challenges and opportunities. The third and fourth are having a media background and technology experience, and the fifth is “strong operational experience” or solid turnaround executions.

Sheryl Sandberg at Yahoo?

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg made Peck’s list of potential CEO candidates for Yahoo. Also on the list are former Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn; current Chegg CEO and former Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig; CBS Interactive President and CEO Jim Lanzone; Former DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt; Google Executive Margo Georgiadis; YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki; General Electric executive Beth Comstock; NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino; and former Amazon executive and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.

Peck emphasized that it’s unclear for now what Yahoo’s board of directors might do and that he and his team only compiled the list to respond to investor questions. He sees the next big catalysts as being a notice about the convertible bonds, a “will” letter from Skadden Arps, and possibly a response from Yahoo to Starboard’s suggestions.

The SunTrust analyst continues to rate Yahoo as a Buy with a $40 per share price target, assuming that the spinoff of Aabaco is tax-free, as it is expected to be. Shares of Yahoo edged higher by as much as 1.03% to $33.28 per share during regular trading hours today.

Leave a Comment