At TechCrunch Disrupt, Marissa Mayer, CEO Yahoo, shared her thoughts on life at Yahoo, her leadership style and that logo.
Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, moderated the discussion and knowing his style, tries to push the envelope as much as possible and kicked off the interview with the question, “What the f*** is with the logo?” (audience laughs) We were all thinking it. And no, it’s not in the video clip.
Although a vague response, Mayer said, “Logos get changed a little bit, and it didn’t change for years. Our users were mailing in and saying that ‘your logo looks chunky.’ [For right now] it’s about having the best products and the focus is on the product.” Basically the logo will be around for awhile.
With the company showing promising growth, Mayer listed the top four key ingredients she is using to rebuild Yahoo.
1. Hiring the right people
2. Building the right products
3. Turn it into traffic
The most important part of her strategy she said was the people, “We have to get the right people there before you can develop the right products,” Mayer said.
Mayer discussed how they have had a modest year of growth and she is seeing exciting things, including the influx of people who want to work there, “we get 12,000 resumes per week…and 14 percent of hires are boomerangs,” she noted.
Mayer also mentioned that she is seeing a significant increase in mobile usage and actively responding to that demand in order to strengthen the brand.
Getting personal, Arrington questioned her on the challenges she faces as a CEO and somehow transitioned into a conversation about her ultimate superpower.
“I love hard work…I’m as happy, if not happier, at Yahoo. I love big challenges and I have a great group of people that are rising to the challenge. It’s been really inspiring to be a part of that,” she said.
As for her superpower, “I’m able to empathize and understand the state of the company, empathize with the employees… and we all have to get together as a team to get [Yahoo] there. Probably empathy.”
Throughout the conference, Arrington would ask various guests, including Mayer, about who they felt should take over as CEO of Microsoft. Although Mayer basically dodged the question, one of her statements with regard to founders was interesting and maybe gave insight to her answer, “There is nothing quite like the passion of a founder.”
Watch the interview from Tech Crunch Disrupt here.
Logo and photo provided by Yahoo