Yahoo is the world’s largest startup - Marissa Mayer


In a technology world that has relatively very few women at the top, a fabulous ‘HerStory’ has been that of Marissa Mayer. Coming from Google, Marissa has been the CEO of Yahoo for a little more than a year, and the impact is evident. The company is performing much better, with stock prices doubling, and valuation going up north. During her talk at TC Disrupt, San Francisco, she shared some points worth every CEO's reflection.

Largest startup

We pride ourselves at Yahoo as being the world’s largest startup. We are entrepreneurial despite being an established company.

Four things

People, Product, Traffic, and Revenue. We have had a chain reaction, with first having the right people, having the people build the right product, which in turn leads to traffic, and the traffic ultimately leads to revenue online. So, it’s kind of a chain reaction working like a funnel: getting the right people to build the right product; the product has to be good for users to come in; and, once you have the usage, you can continuously grow it, and get the advertisers.


We get 12,000 resumes a week, up by a factor of five. There are 12,000 employees in the company, and attrition has come down. Traffic is 800 million monthly active users, core to our growth. That is 20 percent increase in the active users. We want more time and attention from our users and are working in that direction. The focus is on personalisation and mobile.


The big piece I’m focused on is mobile. We’ve grown our mobile team by a factor of 10. We’ve had the web, and are now getting focused on mobile. Mobile users are 315 million, with daily search of homepage, mail, sports, and finance.


I like basic, simple, and efficient stuff. And Yahoo mail is just that. It loads faster, does not have distractions, and fulfils the objective of mailing.


A strong Microsoft is good for the industry. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have been huge fixtures in the industry.


I love hard work, and I love challenges. Challenges have been more exhilarating than exhausting for me. Nothing can beat the passion and hunger of a founder.

One of the CEOs said to me, "The thing that’s shocking about the role of a CEO is how so few decisions you have to make, but you have to make them perfectly." So, as a CEO you have to make fewer decisions, but absolutely and totally correct ones.

Job of a CEO is to grow the revenue.