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Businesses The Almighty Buck Verizon Yahoo!

Verizon Closes $4.5B Acquisition of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer Resigns (techcrunch.com) 126

An anonymous reader shares a TechCrunch article: After Yahoo shareholder approval last week, Verizon today announced that it has finally closed its acquisition of Yahoo, which it plans to combine with its AOL assets into a subsidiary called Oath, covering some 50 media brands and 1 billion people globally. It will be led by Tim Armstrong, who was the CEO of AOL before this. As expected, Marissa Mayer, who had been the CEO of Yahoo, has resigned. "Given the inherent changes to Marissa Mayer's role with Yahoo resulting from the closing of the transaction, Mayer has chosen to resign from Yahoo. Verizon wishes Mayer well in her future endeavors," Verizon said in a statement. You can find Marissa in her own words here on Tumblr. It's a long list of the achievements made with her at the helm these last five years, and -- alas -- you will only read of the struggles that Yahoo went through between the lines. The deal, nevertheless, brings to a close the independent life of one of the oldest and most iconic internet brands, arguably the one that led and set the pace for search -- the cornerstone of doing business on the spaghetti-like internet -- at least until Google came along and surpassed Yahoo many times over, and led the company into a number of disastrous and costly attempts to redefine itself, ultimately culminating in the sale we have here today.
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Verizon Closes $4.5B Acquisition of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer Resigns

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  • Say hello (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:03PM (#54610139) Homepage

    To the golden parachute.

    • I don't normally ask this, but if she were a dude instead of a passably cute chick, would she have even lasted this long?

      • Re:Say hello (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@tpno-coPARIS.org minus city> on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:11PM (#54610229) Homepage

        Normally I'd suspect that as well, however the world of CEOs runs by a different set of rules.

        So probably nothing would change. How many countless companies have we watched driven into the ground by incompetent CEOs only to watch them land safely at another company only to repeat the process. Gender doesn't seem to have anything to do with it.

        • The thing I don't get...is with the kind of money she's gotten over the years and likely from the golden parachute out.....why ever work again??

          I sure wouldn't....I'd spend the rest of my years enjoying the good life with enough $$ to easily live on without ever having to work another day.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by sudden.zero ( 981475 )
            That my friend is the difference between you, and I (the peons) and the CEOs of the world. The driven continue to be driven, not just by money, but by their desire to create, innovate, and sometimes destroy. While the rest of us are only motivated by money. Not to compare Rock stars to CEOs, but there is the same sort of creative, and innovative spirit involved. Look at David Bowie, he was on his death bed, ridden with cancer, but instead of sulking in self pity he finished his final album only days before
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Jeebus - you're giving them way too much credit. It's simple a simple need for validation that never goes away. MM was a simple nerd as a kid and has just spent her adulthood trying to compensate. Creative - that's hilarious.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                Yes! This AC hit it right on the head. They are narcissists and want to keep feeling important and make sure everyone else continues thinking they are important.

                • by Anonymous Coward

                  I feel sorry for your negative world-view, and your hatred of artists.

                  Too bad they don't force music or art classes in school anymore. You might have turned out an artist yourself. You might be actually happy.

                  The funny part is, you probably consider writing code to be an art.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by Anonymous Coward

                    1 in 5 CEOs are Psychopaths [telegraph.co.uk] Not the murdering kind, of course. But the lack of empathy, the willingness to manipulate, and the self-aggrandizing are big things. Artists are often (but not always) polar opposites of the first two. Oh, and "writing code to be an art" is why a lot of code is a shitshow. Good art is rare. It's why there's so much more of a push towards science. Then the "art" is perfecting the application of science instead of it being 99% "creativity" and just enough science to get code

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Look at Donald Trump. Billionaire. Billionaire lifestyle. Gave that up to be President and loathed by half the population.

              If I reached even a fraction of his wealth, I would retire from everything even remotely considered work and just enjoy myself.

              • I'd go around collecting academic qualifications. Get a PhD. Write books.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                ALLEGEDLY a billionaire, ALLEGEDLY with a billionaire lifestyle.

                Why do you think he won't release tax returns? The guy's got tons of debt he's working off and he doesn't want his reputation tarnished.

                Trump isn't a selfless guy. He didn't "give anything up." He has everything to gain from being President and he's using that power to enrich himself, his family, and his allies (I'd call them friends but that's a stretch).

                • Re:Say hello (Score:5, Informative)

                  by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @02:48PM (#54611415)

                  He probably is a billionaire. Forbes ranking of the wealthy (which is pretty well trusted) says he is. But he's not as rich as he says he is; he's blasted Forbes for rating his wealth at a fraction of what he claims. Forbes thinks he's worth $3.5 billion (down $200 million, as a matter of fact). Trump claims he's worth over $10 billion. I have yet to hear of anyone serious who believes that.

            • Yeah, or maybe they are just greedy motherfuckers.

            • Re:Say hello (Score:5, Insightful)

              by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @02:16PM (#54611247) Homepage Journal

              > That my friend is the difference between you, and I (the peons) and the
              > CEOs of the world. The driven continue to be driven, not just by money,
              > but by their desire to create, innovate, and sometimes destroy.

              BULL FUCKING SHIT. I *might* believe that for a *second* if they didn't ALSO get paid RIDICULOUS sums, REGARDLESS of their performance. Or did you miss the news that she will walk away with $186 million? [cnn.com]

              Show me an America CEO who makes within TWO ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE what the average employee earns and I *might* believe that they're doing it for anything other than the money.

              Think she doesn't like money? Maybe she'll share her newfound wealth with the 2,100 who were laid off last week. $186 million divided by 2,100 = $88,571 per employee.

              Or share some with these people. [businessinsider.com] (Feb 2016)
              Or these people. [slashdot.org] (April 2015)
              Or these people. [businessinsider.com] (June 2013)

              Don't you fucking DARE tell me that she is more driven by a desire to create or innovate than any of those THOUSANDS of people -- that THEY were only driven by money. Becoming CEO is basically like winning the lottery.

              By the way, she was already worth $540M last week. [forbes.com]

              Marissa Mayer
              CEO, Yahoo!
              2017 AMERICA'S SELF-MADE WOMEN NET WORTH â" as of 6/8/17
              $540 M

              Add today's $186M and she's now around $720M. She's three-quarters of a BILLIONAIRE. But she's not driven by money -- just her desire to create and innovate. Gotcha. Too bad for the thousands of shallow, selfish former Yahoo employees who were only driven by money.

              • I agree with you....for MOST hired CEO's. They're simply out to make money and don't give a damn about the company or the desire to "create".

                That said...MOST self-made CEO's are entirely different.

                • Fred Smith of FedEx - he cares about his company and what he is creating.
                • Walt Disney
          • Re:Say hello (Score:5, Interesting)

            by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:32PM (#54610381)
            I think that in order to really want to be a CEO of a big company like that (which you didn't found yourself) you pretty much have to be a sociopath, or pretty close to one in a lot of ways. I think that explains why they just won't quit, because its about the power. The money is just a convenient way of keeping score.
            • Re:Say hello (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Muckluck ( 759718 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:43PM (#54610503)
              Actually, that is only part of it. It is a sort of balance between three personality traits - the "Dark Triad". From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]: The dark triad is a subject in psychology that focuses on three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Use of the term "dark" implies that people possessing these traits have malevolent qualities. Many if not all CEOs tend to have a balance of these qualities. Where they fall within the triangle often helps define their own success and the company's success.
          • You might soon find that sitting on the beach all day isn't what you expected. I have taken extended vacations between jobs, and after about a week, I start feeling an urge to "get stuff done". The satisfaction of achieving goals is not just about money.

            Marissa had enough money for a very comfortable retirement before she even started as CEO of Yahoo.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Right on... lack of purpose is a real mind-numbing experience. Even the "good life" can get old rather fast. As a peon, it would be nice to have that option though.

            • That's what hobbies are for. As a professional software developer, if suddenly I never had to work a day for the rest of my life I would probably start contributing to open source projects or start one of my own. Likewise an auto mechanic might get a classic car to restore. Though I have no idea what hobbies a CEO would take up to fill the void of no longer having a company to run into the ground.

              • Though I have no idea what hobbies a CEO would take up to fill the void of no longer having a company to run into the ground.

                Running for president?

              • Though I have no idea what hobbies a CEO would take up to fill the void of no longer having a company to run into the ground.

                Serial killer?

            • You might soon find that sitting on the beach all day isn't what you expected. I have taken extended vacations between jobs, and after about a week, I start feeling an urge to "get stuff done". The satisfaction of achieving goals is not just about money.

              Not me, I guess different types.

              Last time I was between gigs lasted maybe 7 months or so.

              I frankly had NO problem keeping myself happy and occupied. I live in New Orleans, my general day dealt with, wake up about 8-9am or so, walk the dog...jump on my mo

              • Can that many people not find ways to entertain themselves when not working.....?

                I've often wondered that myself. I put it down to people fooling themselves because it makes it a bit easier to get through those days at work. Anecdotal I know, but I have a friend who said this for years ('I like work because otherwise I'd just be bored'). He now lives off the income from a few rental properties he bought on the side and basically doesn't work. He doesn't seem bored to me.

          • why ever work again??

            Some people still want to accomplish things and do things with their lives. Some want to continue to gain prestige, wealth, and power. Also, I understand how not having a job can sound nice, but it gets depressing after a while. Even if it's not a "job" per se, it's nice to have some kind of role to play in society that's more than a hobby.

            • Even if it's not a "job" per se, it's nice to have some kind of role to play in society that's more than a hobby.

              Hmm..well, while doing something nice for society might be a nice side benefit of doing what you like, I certainly never think of something like that as a driving force in any of my actions or direction in life.

              I guess it could be for some, everyone is different, but I can't imagine its that as big of a deal for more than a slight majority of people in the world.

          • by sjritt00 ( 159438 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @01:24PM (#54610857)

            She'd probably like to retire, but if Verizon was smart (I know, a real stretch) they included a "must compete" clause in her termination contrtact.

        • Re:Say hello (Score:4, Interesting)

          by g01d4 ( 888748 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:45PM (#54610519)

          Youth and gender were likely a factor in her hiring. These components were to be integrated with the brand being promoted. It was effectively a band-aid covering what was hoped to be the healing wound of the Yahoo brand. Her competence was on par with her peers and removing her would have been like tearing the band-aid off before the wound had healed. Verizon's changing the wound treatment.

          What I've yet to understand is what unique or special skills these CEOs have that justify their compensation outside articulation combined with excessive ambition.

          • What I've yet to understand is what unique or special skills these CEOs have that justify their compensation

            For Yahoo, it was hoped that she would turn the company around. If she had done that, it would have been worth the money, but she didn't so it was a risk.

            Consider a more narrow skill, though. Imagine she was really good at negotiating (maybe she is, I don't know). That could have gotten an extra billion dollars onto the sales price, or could be the difference between making and not making a deal at all. I think you'll agree that it's worth a few million $ to get a CEO who is better at negotiation (since t

        • Seriously though, do you think another CEO could have saved Yahoo?
      • Yep (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:20PM (#54610291)
        She's somebody's niece or something. It's nepotism (and the ruling class taking care of their own), not sexism.
        • by deesine ( 722173 )

          This. Skull & Bones, Bildabergers, Rothchilds, conspiracy about the world's corporate rulers and their secret societies -- none of that is needed to explain why the world's wealthiest people act tribal. Turns out tribalism isn't relegated to the under-developed. And people tend simply to look out for themselves and who they care about first.

      • Re:Say hello (Score:5, Informative)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:53PM (#54610601)

        I don't normally ask this, but if she were a dude instead of a passably cute chick, would she have even lasted this long?

        The Yahoo board booted Jerry Yang, but he was arguably worse than Marissa. Yahoo was in decline when she took over. She didn't fix the problems, but she didn't cause them either. By the time she took the reins, I am not sure that Yahoo was fixable.

        • By the time she took the reins, I am not sure that Yahoo was fixable.

          One wonders what someone like Steve Jobs could have done with it. She had five years at the helm, you know, so I'm not sure I'd buy the notion that Yahoo was necessarily doomed.

          Yahoo needed someone with a real vision to lead them. I don't believe Mayer was completely incompetent, but she certainly wasn't visionary. The fact that they never seemed to be able to get their tech in order (massive and completely unnecessary security breaches) and just don't seem to have a corporate identity speaks to a system

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by nine-times ( 778537 )

        There are a few different aspects to your question that I want to expand a little:

        1) You're implying that she was completely incompetent, and should have been fired. That's possible. However, I'd also point out that Yahoo was a flailing mess of a company before she took over, and it's not as though there was a clear and easy path to rehabilitate them. Getting purchased by Verizon may have simply been the best play that they had. If so, she got that done.

        2) You're implying that being attractive helps y

      • by no1nose ( 993082 )

        She is the IRL version of that girl from Showtime's "House of Lies". Very pretty and quite rich. Her husband, Zachary Bogue, and her kids are quite fortunate.

      • Are you really arguing there are no ugly male CEOs that suck? Is the guy who runs Sears devilishly handsome [businessinsider.com] in your opinion, just to name a terrible CEO off the top of my head?
    • "Oath" as in "fuck, why the fuck did we buy this fucken piece of shit sucking chest wound of a company again? Fuck me".
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:04PM (#54610141)
    I'd be perfectly happy to drive your tech company into the ditch too for a couple hundred million dollars.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hij ( 552932 )
      A better analogy would be she found the pick-up truck in the ditch full of cash, and found someone with an even bigger truck willing to pull it out of the ditch so it could be stripped down for parts. You know, the usual stuff.
    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
      Just curious, how was Yahoo doing before they hired her?

      Blaming her for the fall of Yahoo is like blaming the guy trying to keep the Titanic afloat by bailing water with a bucket.. Yahoo hit that iceberg long before she came on board.
    • She tanked a company that was in a nose dive and about to hit rock bottom. Instead she put enough value into it for another company to see it as a worthwhile investment.
  • by Lucas123 ( 935744 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:11PM (#54610227) Homepage
    Where you can fail hard, and still get a $23 million ‘golden parachute’ for your effort. /s
    • Why do you hate capitalism, you commie simp?
    • Where you can fail hard, and still get a $23 million ‘golden parachute’ for your effort. /s

      To be fair, I don't think Yahoo was salvageable. But that doesn't justify giving her millions of dollars. If anything, the board should have found someone to take on the job of simply running Yahoo for a million or so a year, which the job is worth if they're able to keep it profitable.

      • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:38PM (#54610453)
        The boards of these companies typically aren't any better than the CEOs they select. More often than not if you look at board memberships, the CEO of one company will be on the board of another (or several others), and so on. So why no just pick on of their friends to rake in a bunch of cash for a while, when it's likely that friend will be in a position to do the same for one of them at some point in the future.

        If you wanted a really good CEO you'd find some engineer within the company that knows what the hell the company does and how it actually runs and pay for an MBA so they can speak the business lingo the position requires while being able to make informed decisions about the direction the company should take.
    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      She only failed if you think her job was to turn Yahoo into a modern competitive internet company. That was never going to happen, and I doubt the board had any illusions.

      Her job was to change the company in ways that made it sell for more, and keep the stock price up in the mean time. She did that quite well. There's a whole industry around "boost the selling price of this failing company", BTW. mostly for small companies.

  • Hey - I hear ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hentai007 ( 188457 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:12PM (#54610235)

    Uber might be in the market for a new CEO - And hiring her would be a great way to get rid of the "sexist" image they've cultivated lately! WIN WIN!

    • by slashdice ( 3722985 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:16PM (#54610271)
      ... and Uber will be dead in 3 years. Triple-Win, FTW.
      • that's just a fringe benefit.

      • You're under the impression that Uber is going to survive 3 years. The question is, which company is going to buy Uber, Tesla, Apple, Alphabet(Google) and marry it to their self Driving Cars.

        My guess, Tesla, paired with Hyperloop, seems like something that Musk could do.

    • And hiring her would be a great way to get rid of the "sexist" image they've cultivated lately! WIN WIN!

      I like how you put sexist in "scare quotes". We know uber doesn't give a fuck about laws (lots of stories), there are plenty of horror stories of various sorts from people working there, lots of people completely independently have reported sexism and Uber even admitted it with that whole "we're sexist but so is everyone else so come and work here" story.

      I reckon there's no amount of evidence that would e

  • $29 Billion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:44PM (#54610513)

    Under Marissa's tenure, the valuation of Yahoo went from $20 Billion to $49 Billion which is pretty damn impressive for a five year stretch. Why is everyone so anti-Marissa here on Slashdot, saying she ran the company into the ground?

  • She was hired as a PR stunt because women were the hot thing in the CEO world at the time... too bad she was a terrible hire with an air tight contract that made it all but impossible for Yahoo to get rid of her. Yahoo *could* have been transformed and saved had she known more about technology than a backwoods inbred hillbilly.

    • She was hired as a PR stunt because women were the hot thing in the CEO world at the time... too bad she was a terrible hire with an air tight contract that made it all but impossible for Yahoo to get rid of her.

      See, here's why there's something of a reputation for rampant misogyny in the comments section. Yahoo had been in a bit of a decline, to put it mildly and was values at something like $20 billion in 2012. Now, as Marissa Mayer is leaving, the company it's final valuation on acquisition was $34 billi

    • She was hired as a PR stunt because women were the hot thing in the CEO world at the time...

      And what could possibly go wrong with hiring Larry's former bedwarmer and kicked-out-of-the-executive-suite CBCO (Chief Broom Closet Officer)?

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @01:00PM (#54610671)

    Verizon's plan is to locate a stable granite formation containing old mine tunnels, in which AOL assets can be permanently isolated from the biosphere under a concrete backfill.

  • Does anyone here think Ms. Mayer (in 'Corporate' terms), just might have done a good job for the formerly-benighted shareholders? In 'ordinary' companies (non-tech) the most senior people are - regrettably - not specialists in the underlying business, but hotshots in maximising value for the shareholders who validate their appointments. Failure is easy; she didn't. Well, my daughters are proud of her.
  • The completion of this sale puts Verizon and AT&T in a rather interesting position...

    Namely, Verizon now controls a major competitor's (AT&T's) email servers.

    Years ago, AT&T contracted out its customer (joe.blow@att.com, etc...) email to Yahoo! I actually have one of these addresses (kept it for nostalgic purposes, because it's a pacbell address, dating from the late '90s). So what happens with AT&T email now?

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @03:08PM (#54611551)
    She is the only CEO of Yahoo that was able to seriously raise the stock price of the company. The company was on a long, slow decline for most of its existence. She pulled it out of its nose-dive long enough to make it worth buying. Not purchasing Google when they had the chance was their biggest mistake.
  • which it plans to combine with its AOL assets into a subsidiary called Oath, covering some 50 media brands and 1 billion people globally

    Thank goodness Verizon was finally able to buy the dog shit for their Central Park diorama, because it just isn't a park without a healthy helping of dog turds.

    OK, maybe Finance is worth something, possibly Sports I imagine, but what else does Yahoo bring? BRAND recognition? A savvy user base? Maybe they're conflating (defunct) accounts with "people"?

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