The Los Angeles Times detailed an “all-hands meeting” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer called on Tuesday in which she laid out in very broad strokes her game plan for turning around the troubled Internet giant. Mayer, the longtime Google executive who was named Yahoo’s chief executive this past summer, told company employees that she plans to again make Yahoo an everyday part of people’s lives by narrowing Yahoo’s products to those only with the greatest promise, shifting the company’s focus to smartphones and tablets, and attracting top engineering talent from promising young companies. According to the Times, “she also continued to shake up the executive ranks, announcing that Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse would leave the company.” Morse had kept a tight rein on Yahoo’s finances since taking over as CFO three years ago.
The New York Times is reporting that Morse is being succeeded by Ken Goldman, who has been serving as CFO of Fortinet, a public computer security company. Yahoo’s board of directors hopes Mayer will restore some vitality to the moribund brand. She is expected to give birth to her first child in the next few weeks, but has said she expects to return to work quickly. The Times notes, “Previous chiefs — four in the last five years, plus two interim chiefs — have failed to carry out their own long-term plans, largely because they have been unable to articulate what it is that Yahoo actually does.” Mayer has been active as of late, recently closing a $7.6 billion deal with Alibaba that gives Yahoo, after taxes and paybacks to shareholders, $625 million. “She indicated Tuesday that employees should expect acquisitions,” the newspaper adds.
Meanwhile, CIO notes that a Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment on the reasons for Morse’s replacement. In a statement, Mayer described him as “a trusted leader” at the company who has “expertly guided” the company through some tough times and key deals. She added, “I’ve personally relied on Tim’s knowledge and leadership in my first few months at Yahoo. I know I speak for everyone in wishing him the best.”