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Copy of Copy of Yahoo! A critical assessment of Marissa Mayer CEO

Brunel University - MBA Leading People & Managing Organisations Module - Group Work

Mohamed Lotfy Ahmed

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of Yahoo! A critical assessment of Marissa Mayer CEO

MB5527 Leading People & Managing Organisations
Group Poster November 2013
Marissa Mayer
CEO Yahoo!
Apply relevant theory to analyse and discuss how the style of leadership influences (positively or negatively) employees’ motivation and satisfaction in your chosen case study company. Critically discuss the developments needed at Yahoo to ensure organizational success.

Employees say it's “OK”
1,388 ratings
86% Approve of the CEO 258 ratings*

It is good place to work: Nice work environment, good work benefits, friendly staff atmosphere. Management is fairly effective
Management of transformation and change


Source: Ulrich (1997)

Frederik Herzberg
1923 - 2000
Motivation to Work
Published 1959
Anonymous Yahoo employee
April 2013*
* Source: www.glassdoor.com
Pays well, good benefits and good management style but no clear career path , things keeps on changing every now and you can loose your job at any moment
Yahoo! To become the absolute place to work
Idealised Influence
Bass, 1985
Burns, 1979
Development of Transformational and Transactional Leadership Theories
Weber, 1948
Tichy and Devanna, 1986
Yahoo needed dramatic change.
While it had once been one of the most successful high tech giants, it had now started heading towards irrelevance.
Through a series of major strategic initiatives throughout the organisation; revitalisation of the firm began (removed 500 underperforming employees, including 8 COs, cancelled all telecommuting)

“Yahoo is about making the world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining,” (Mayer, 2012).
Marissa is resetting the company and resetting it's culture. She is essentially revisiting the first stage of the company,
and this stage needs to be face to face.

“We will have both annual goals and quarterly goals that we will all commit to, track, and grade ourselves based on …
We will then cascade the goals down through
the company at the department, team, and individual level,” (Mayer, 2012).
Marissa hires a new team of COs, 1000 talented engineers who she selects herself, creates more comfortable working conditions for her employees to bring them back to the offices and to stimulate their efficiency levels.

*Over 12 years experience in ICT sector
* Clear understanding of vision and strategy
*Changed 8 out of 11 COs in the company
*Removed 500 under performing employees
*Oversaw 24 acquisitions to attract new talent
*Refocused the business towards mobile
*Innovation needs face to face communication

Payoffs of Transformational Leadership
Step process for transforming organisations (Tichy and Devanna, 1986)


*Infuses employees with the ideas of a common view and goal
*Actively invites employees to help build the brand
*First female engineer at Google
*Hard worker, excellent presenter and negotiator
*Mother, wife, style icon

*Acquired engineering talent through the acquisitions of inexpensive mobile start ups
*Recruited over 1000 engineers, 14 % of new engineers are "boomerangs”
*Yahoo is becoming an organisation engineers dream to work for
*Providing free education/training to employees

*Free food, New mobile hardware to bring people back to the office
*Doubled paid maternity leave to 16 weeks and paternity leave up to eight weeks, plus $500
*Employee independence, but assistance available via open door policy
*Engineer's salaries are the highest in the industry at $130,000

"I know who I am,
I know what I like,
and I have a clear
view of what
I want Yahoo to be”
(Mayer, 2012).
“Employees, especially young people, want more than a paycheck. They want to feel as though their work has meaning” (Mayer, 2012).
Individual Consideration
Intellectual Stimulation
Institutionalising change
Creating a new vision
Positively correlated with improved employee
attitudes and behaviors (Bass et al., 1999)

Shapes and reinforces a new culture
( Tichy and Devanna ,1986)
Builds Trust Between Leaders and Employees
(Bass 1999)
Elevates the desires and aspirations of individuals and groups (Burns, 1978)

“Marissa has brought huge, positive changes to the company. The company is operating with a sense of vision and urgency that hasn’t been seen since its very early days” -Yahoo Manager 2013 (Sunnyvale, CA) .
”She is pulling in people who are excited about mobile, people who want to build a winning culture," (JMP Securities analyst Ron Jose, 2013).
“There’s a lot more transparency and feedback mechanisms now,” (Yahoo Senior Software Engineer, 2013 (San Francisco, CA)
Cumulative 85% CEO approval rating, “Engineers are very impressed by Marissa Mayer’s leadership. They appreciate her cutting some of the under-performing engineers she’s rewarding software engineers very handsomely”(Glassdoor, 2013).
Herzberg's Motivators and Hygiene Factors
"How to Motivate Your Team"

Motivators & Hygiene Factors
Hygiene factors : are essential for existence of motivation , individuals want & expect them to exist.
Motivators (satisfiers) : motivate the employees for superior performance.
Marissa Mayer's Hygienic and motivator Decisions
+ Doubled the length of paid leave for Yahoo employees .
Mothers of newborn children will get 16 weeks instead of 8 ; fathers of newborns will get 8 weeks. (Hygienic)

- Banned work from home .
she defended that decision by saying "people are more productive when they're alone , but they're more collaborative & innovative when they're together" . (Hygienic)

+Launching the PB&J program (Process, Bureaucracy & Jam) saying she will make Yahoo "the absolute best place to work". (Motivator)
“Yahoo w/Marissa: Free food, free smart phones, strong leadership”
(anonymous, current Manager)
Evaluation :
Marissa focused on the Hygiene factors to eliminate dissatisfaction, motivators are noticed to be existing.
Motivation exists and Hygiene factors are greatly covered, No Dissatisfaction is almost assured but satisfaction varies .
Yahoo Employee Satisfaction Hit 5-Year High Under Marissa Mayer *.
Herzberg's two factor theory states that the first three levels of the Maslow's Hierarchy were Hygiene factors, the top two levels were motivators
Applying Marissa's Leadership Style to Goleman
Evaluating Marissa's Approach
"bureaucracy, politics, low attention to performance (changing radically with Marissa Mayer)" Product Marketing Manager, England (25/Mar/2013)
Evaluation of Marissa Mayer Motivation Styles

Marissa currently displays all three "Needs" in the following order of maginitude (above) Affiliate, Power and Achievement. Her strong use of Passion, Persuasion and Persistence were seen at Google where she was a high achiever. It's too early to say whether she will reach the same levels of achievement at Yahoo!, which is why this is smaller than Affiliate & Power.
Affiliation and Power are two characteristic traits essential to re-energise and motivate Yahoo! which had slipped in both market share and stock value in the past few years. However now that the share price has doubled under her leadership and Yahoo has over 12,000 job applicants (in other words a 1:1 job replacement potential). We will start to see her needs move towards power. In October 2013 Yahoo will begin firing an estimated 500 under performing staff.
A key aspect of Mayer's motivation style is "Goal Setting" which draws upon Locke's Goal Theory 1968.
McCellan's Acquired Needs Theory
1917 to 1998
"n" is measured using the TAT
Thematic Apperception Test
4 Dimensions of Transformational Leadership (Bass, 1985)
Employees as "
New approach to
solve problems
organisational resistance

Guest (1987) & Storey (1987)
Carroll (1991)
Ulrich (1997)
(Mayer, 2013)
(Employee, 2013)
It's not about changing the culture. It's about making the culture the best version of itself
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