Recently working on a piece about bad decisions, I decided not to hire Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer for Academy Award-winning and successful lifestyle writer and blogger Gwyneth Paltrow for a lifestyle editing position … because he did not have a college degree.
In doing so, I ran into the recent commentary by Martha Stewart, the ‘queen of lifestyle’ who is clearly acting like Paltrow, a threat. Since there is no doubt that Stewart has been very successful as a CEO, this got me thinking about how well Martha Stewart is intimidating with Paltrow, and Stewart being a better CEO than Mayer. Will Paltrow be better CEO than Mayor?
If you suddenly started drawing circles on paper to help you find out what I said, because like me, you missed my symbolic logic class from college.
Let’s explore the idea of Paltrow running Yahoo – and we’ll close the week with our own product: an amazing new curved phone from LG.
Choose a CEO
In looking at the results from the outside, it often appears that the boards of companies either want to choose the most attractive person, or a personal friend, or they simply throw away all the resumes and send the resume to the person Those who rent land top. (I remember that some of my professors gave grades in a similar way.)
Many board members do not match the skills and job experience of a candidate. In fact, many times – as Yahoo did with Carol Bartz – they think CEOs are generic and interchangeable, and CEOs from a different engineering software company don’t necessarily have to be inherently fit for online media. company.
For Yahoo, you would have thought that they would start with a media expert, noting that the business belonged to the firm. Instead, he went on top of his in-house media expert (who now appears to be lobbying to get that job), a woman known for helping to create Google, even though Yahoo has started the search business And handed that task over to Microsoft.
To be clear, with its then interim CEO, Ros Levinsohn, Yahoo had an executive with a skillset that matched the business that was at Yahoo. However, he dropped him out to bring in Mayer, who was an executive. Coming on Google and from a very different business.
In fact, after reading the pre-linked article, it seems that Yahoo hired Meyer because he had good web design skills. If this is true, we should check to see if Yahoo’s board members misjudged their minds before making a decision.
Differentiate the business model
Currently, Yahoo is in the media business. Their distribution mechanism is web, not TV or print media, but the underlying ad-based business model is similar. You create content that people want to see and then sell space to advertisers who sieve products and pitch those products while viewers consume content that is curiously free.
Google’s model is very different, at least from how they make revenue. They basically monetize a lot of stuff that they do not have, and then sell access to the people and organizations they own, as well as the information that defines them to advertisers.
In the meat world we would compare Yahoo more than a network and a broker from Google. Yahoo makes money from its own goods and Google largely shut down to give people access to the goods. Google doesn’t have to understand how to create compelling content, they just have to monetize it and make it easy for people to find it. Yahoo really needs to create content.
This means that the skills that Google should overestimate are found in a data scientist – in other words, the understanding and manipulation of complex data models. For Yahoo, this is the way to produce highly popular content. Yes, both companies use the Internet, but so do Citibank and (healthcare providers) Kaiser.
However, you won’t – or I hope you won’t – choose an executive from Citibank to run Kaiser. Therefore, Merissa Mayer has the wrong skill on her face, which is why she continues to struggle on Yahoo.
On the other hand, Paltrow understands the media business and has created a small, yet successful lifestyle company. Obviously, her executive skills are mild.
But she understands content in a way that an engineer could never do, and if you consider Martha Stewart to be a successful CEO, it’s not hard to draw a line and suggest that a person with similar skills in the same business is more Should be compatible Compared the result with Meyer.
Granted, Levinsohn would be a better option to lead Yahoo than Paltrow or Mayer at the moment. But you could have cultivated Paltrow more easily than reclaiming Mayer, because learning executive management is a lot easier than becoming a subject matter expert, especially when you talk about engineering and media backgrounds.