Yahoo's new CEO to focus on mobile and 'everyday user loyalty'

By Graeme Burton
23 Oct 2012 View Comments
marissa-mayer

New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has outlined her strategy for the company, with the focus firmly fixed on mobile and improving the "user experience" of the company's services.

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Yahoo under successive CEOs had claimed that it is a media company, not a web company. As a result, it outsourced its core search function and other useful services, such as its online language translation service Babel Fish, to rival Bing, controlled by Microsoft.

Indeed, over the past 100 days since she joined the company, Mayer has been examining every facet of its offerings, starting with search.

"While our search area's challenged, we're working closely with Microsoft to define the future of search. Many people are surprised to learn that our alliance with Microsoft affords Yahoo significant control over our search user experience and the ability to innovate therein," said Mayer in an investor conference call.

However, "on the economics front", the alliance with Microsoft had "fallen below expectations", she added.

Part of Mayer's aim in search, though, is to make Yahoo's portfolio of services a "daily habit" in the same way that many people go first to Google by habit.

"At Yahoo, we see users making daily use of search, mail, the home page and mobile, among other offerings. Search is a core daily habit for all of us and a fundamental user behaviour, the top priority for Yahoo. We'll focus on reshaping search, driving smart distribution deals and making organic investments to grow our market share," she said.

She also hinted at (another) makeover for Yahoo Mail and Messenger, the company's email and instant messaging services: "Communication is another of these daily habits and is prime to be re-imagined. There is great opportunity to modernise Yahoo Mail and Messenger, especially given the continual increase in the amount of communication we're all receiving."

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