Marissa Mayer continues to put her stamp on Yahoo! as the company announced yesterday that they have hired a new CMO (chief marketing officer), Kathy Savitt. As one might suspect it looks like the C-suite of Yahoo is going to have a significant feminine influence which could serve to make it look much different than most other Silicon Valley companies. Although Yahoo did have another woman CEO, Carol Bartz, just about a year ago, her tenure was marked by actions that befitted a longshoreman so the feel of this tenure may be quite a bit different. We sure hope so, at least.
Yahoo Finance reports
Yahoo! Inc.announced today that Kathy Savitt is joining the company as chief marketing officer, responsible for all worldwide marketing and branding. Savitt will join the company on September 14 and will report directly to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.
“We are very excited to welcome Kathy to Yahoo!,” said Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!. “Her extensive experience in building and refining well-loved consumer brands like Amazon, American Eagle Outfitters and Lockerz will be incredibly valuable as we define Yahoo!’s future.”
Mayer’s focus on product would lend to having someone entrusted with the Yahoo! brand to have a retail oriented background. As we await what the new Yahoo! will start to truly look like under Mayer moves like these are indicators as to what direction she plans on taking the floundering Internet giant.
For her part Savitt says
“Yahoo! is at an important and unique inflection point in its storied history,” said Savitt. “I believe passionately in Yahoo!’s ability to inspire and delight users, partners and advertisers around the world and am excited to join Marissa in defining Yahoo!’s next chapter.”
That’s very nice press release fodder but she really has her work cut out for her. One of the biggest problems that has faced Yahoo! over the last several years is the inability of those even at the top of the organization to clearly define exactly what Yahoo! is and is not. It will be an interesting study to see what Savitt is able to put together to help define the company and even possibly reinvent the brand since it has certainly lost its focus and its way in the recent past.
So what is Yahoo! to you? What would you expect it to become as the Mayer years take shape?