The Management Problem For Yahoo

So, the old CEO’s didn’t get the job done. The board, also didn’t get the job done, but decided to not blame themselves and went and hired Marissa Mayer as their latest and greatest savior.

She’s done some decent things.

However there’s some things that, if I were a board member, would make me wonder if she was a good choice.

The issue with remote workers is a tad worrying. Of course why I think it’s a problem is not the reason that others had issue. Most of the digerati had issues with the fact she stopped the work from home privilege altogether. Hey, that’s a management choice.

My issue is her basis for it and why it still shows management issues. Her stated reason is that the people working from home weren’t signing in to their VPN.

After spending months frustrated at how empty Yahoo parking lots were, Mayer consulted Yahoo’s VPN logs to see if remote employees were checking in enough.

Mayer discovered they were not — and her decision was made.


She purely judged the remote workers by whether or not they used their vpn? Wow. Ok, on the one hand I get it. But really, shouldn’t you be judging your workers by whether they get their work done?

Not signing into the vpn in and of itself doesn’t mean someone’s not working. It just means, well, they’re not signed in to the company network. Nothing more and nothing less. I still don’t get it.

If you’re issue is that your workers aren’t, well working. Fire them.

If you don’t know which workers aren’t working then you have a management issue and not a worker issue. And yet this part of the problem has been completely and utterly ignored.

Yahoo has a management issue and firing the workers isn’t going to fix the management issue.

And now we have paperwork. Boy do we have paperwork.

How it works:

  • Mayer requires teams of at least four people to interview every single new candidate.
  • Then each interviewer fills out a series of forms.
  • Then HR compiles each form into one master form.
  • This form then goes to Mayer’s office, “to sit from between six weeks to two months before she gets around to approving it. This is not [the] wait [time] for the whole process, which takes longer, naturally, it’s just the Mayer-approval wait.”
  • Then there is more waiting.
And here I thought she came from Google and was all 21st century. That’s enough waiting and paperwork to make the IRS proud.
It seems again, we have a management issue. By themselves these may not be bad issues. It’s just that combined it would make me wonder what sort of bureaucracy is being created and really, how is that helpful when you are already so far behind the 8 ball.
Good luck and all but, I’d be hedging my bets on that stock.