Yahoo was once a giant in the internet world, experiencing rapid growth and soaring stock prices after being founded in 1994. But currently Yahoo is struggling against fierce competitors such as Google and Facebook. It was clear to their Board of Directors and shareholders that radical change was necessary in order for Yahoo to remain competitive. In 2012 former Google executive Marissa Mayer was named as the new CEO.
Since joining Yahoo, Mayer has not been shy or hesitant about bringing about change. This has included the purchase of over 20 companies, banning teleworking, strict new hiring policies, and clashes with other senior executives and shareholders. The results so far have been mixed, with some observers saying her hard-nosed approach is what is needed for a struggling company like Yahoo and others saying that her style is overbearing and unnecessarily harsh.
Do some research on Marissa Mayer and her approach to managing change. You will find a lot of articles about her as she is frequently in the news. Here are a few articles to get you started:
Yahoo’s geek goddess. (January, 2014). Vanity Fair, 56, 68. [ProQuest]
Quinn, M. (Jan. 22, 2014). Poof. Marissa Mayer’s honeymoon period at Yahoo ends. Oakland Tribune [ProQuest]
Cook, J. (2013, Mar 15). Can a ‘hard reset’ give Yahoo a boost? The Globe and Mail [ProQuest]
After you have reviewed the background materials on managing change and finished your research on Marissa Mayer, write a four- to five-page paper addressing the following issues. Make sure to cite both required background readings such as Avery (2004) or Luthans, et al. (2015) as well as specific articles on Marissa Mayer such as Quinn (2014) or Cook (2013) in your paper:
- Overall, how would you describe Marissa Mayer’s approach to leadership? Discuss her leadership style the best you can in terms of being a charismatic leader, a transformational leader, and/or a transactional leader. Draw upon the definitions of these types of leadership from the background readings and discuss them as they apply to Marissa Mayer.
- What do you believe are the main benefits and drawbacks of Mayer’s approach to leadership and change?
- How do you think Marissa Mayer should change her leadership style?