In her first public interview since taking over as Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer gave a little insight into the company's plans going forward, and her strategy sounds like that of a lot of other tech companies these days: mobile first. "We have a terrific set of assets on the web--all the things people want to do on their mobile phone," Mayer told Fortune's Pattie Sellers at a dinner last night. "The interesting thing is when you look at what people want to do on their phone, it's mail, weather, check stock quotes and news. That's Yahoo's business. This is a huge opportunity for us because we have the content and all the information people want on their phones."
The next step, however, is making all those things more accessible to people on their cell phones, which is Mayer she upgraded the whole staff from "BlackBerrys to smartphones ... as a work tool," a move she made months ago and reiterated last night. (Blackberrys aren't smartphones? Ouch.) In short, that means making a magic app. Not a maps app, though. "I've done maps in my former life, it's very expensive, it's very hard to do well--Apple's finding that out. So we're not going to do maps." What the company will do, however, is a bit murkier. Mayer mentioned acquisitions to get the right products and people. But she didn't name any companies, just going back to "mobilemobilemobile," as AllThingsD's Kara Swisher — who had to sneak in — put it.
Other than her vague "mobile first" plans, Mayer continued to push her company's new office culture. "The thing that surprised me and really puzzingly so is that the job is really fun. Yahoo is a really fun place to work," she said. "I love the spirit of the place." Yahoo has notoriously low morale because of its massive failure and layoffs. Mayer has mentioned talent as part of her big strategy to turn the business around. All that talk about fun is to attract keep those best people.
And, of course, a public appearance of Mayer's can't pass without talk of her most important baby, the focus of the Today show segment this morning about her interview last night. "What's the most important thing you do to get it all done," asked Sellers. (Translation: How do you "have it all.") Here's the answer from Mayer, queen of having it all (at least according to New York magazine), ladies: "You have to ruthlessly prioritize," which, for Mayer, means no more interviews.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Marissa Mayer