How Marissa Mayer Can Use Location to Turn Yahoo Around

Chief Location Officer wants to offer our congratulations to top female CLO Marissa Mayer for her appointment as Yahoo’s new President and CEO. This is a huge appointment for Mayer, and the pressure is now on to turn Yahoo’s reputation around after a shaky past 5 years for the company, complete with 5 corresponding CEOs. Talking heads are skeptical that one person can positively impact a large company that has been losing market share for some time, but Mayer brings unique traits to the table that are bound to strike change, including:

  • Provides a fresh set of eyes on Yahoo's design: Mayer was behind Google’s infamously clean homepage, believing that a clean interface helps from scaring people away. Perhaps she can apply this to Yahoo’s over-stimulating page layout.
  • Fosters a creative work environment: Mayer held office hours in her Google office 3 times/week, leaving the door open for insight and creativity from other employees.
  • Maintains an inspiring work ethic: Mayer believes that working around the clock is sometimes necessary. But, she establishes a work/life balance by identifying what matters most to her during the week, such as attending a favorite yoga class, and making sure it gets done to avoid burnout.
  • Has experience in Location Services: Mayer's last position at Google was Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services. Location is a hot topic in tech right now, so her location experience at Google positions her to help Yahoo excel in this closely-watched department.

How will Mayer’s experience in Google’s location services department translate to Yahoo’s location realm? In 2010, Yahoo staked their claim on the geo-location scene by launching its location-based deal aggregator Yahoo Deals and a fun search application named Sketch-a-Search. Yahoo also boasts a user-friendly Local News page.  Location services are becoming a more central department for all search engines, as Bing, Google, and Yahoo all compete for users via awe-inspiring map imagery and geo-technology. So how can Yahoo differentiate itself? Now that the sparkle has worn off from location sharing apps such as Foursquare and Google Latitude, there is a need for a revolutionary location app, and mobile couponing presents a huge opportunity. If Yahoo was the first to launch a user-friendly mobile coupon app, it could re-establish the company as an innovator in the industry and be the first large company to tap into this large market. Establishing itself in the leader in location-based services for consumers will shake the dust off Yahoo's brand and shine new light on its potential.

CLO Take: Location services present a bevy of opportunities for companies looking to be a leader in their industry.  And we congratulate one of our own, rising to the top.  Best of luck on both deliveries (the baby and the business!)