Since I have a few minutes before trading begins for the day...I am addressing this mostly to grey. Recently there was mention on this board about how freely MM spent YHOO money on foolish items like free food, free phones, parties, I think Grey is an intelligent man who, like all of us, talks his book. Suspose there are two men, one, a veterinarian, the other, a dentist. Both men are intelligent and know their jobs. They likely do not know each others job, the vet wont pull yout tooth nor will the dentist treat your dog for fleas. So YHOO has a CEO (still in a learning to be mode), who is an engineer (and a good one). She likely knows the limits to her skills. She is intelligent and does not try to do jobs she has not trained for. You can bet she either has on her staff or as a consultant, a PhD holding I-O Psychologist. It is very likely using his advice, MM makes her decision to provide Yahoo employees with some benefits...culture, pride, moral, lots of benefit for a very few pretax dollars. I suspect stake holders other than employees also stand to gain from her actions. I am a share holder with a limited understanding of business, but I totally support all her actions and efforts to turn YHOO around. So if your adverse to the freebies and perks, blame the I-O psychologist! Or Maybe you just don't understand business or people?
I have no doubt that MM is relying on some consultant in her quest to change the culture of Yahoo. Now first, lets all remember the job of each consultant is not to bring maximum benefit to a company but to 1) Bill and extend the project so that revenue keeps flowing to the consultant and 2) re-enforce the views of the CEO and back up the CEO's decisions. Basically give the CEO coverage. I know, it's what I did for years.
MM, who as goldeagle acknowledges is still a CEO in training, has fallen into the mode of what worked at a previous job/organization must work at all jobs organizations so I will just replicate that at the new company. Therefore, the free food, i-phones and so on. Yes, in the short run this will boost morale but in the long run she will be seen as just buying off employees unless she does something dramatic to change the culture and put Yahoo on a growth trajectory.
Unfortunately, MM has no magic pill, bean, or wand that can make that happen. In front of her is still a massive and painful downsizing that must occur. One that she appears to be determined to drag out as long as possible to A) sooth her person indium that she is being kind to people/employees. (She is not! Most already know who is going to be let go and just want to know what their package is going to be and are now realizing that MM is a vindictive person who will screw employees out of severance to save a few bucks. Which she things is good for business - NOT) B) Give her time to review and not make decision about the future direction of Yahoo and where significant dollars are going to be invested while employees look for leadership that isn't forth coming.
So here is Yahoo. Still directionless, but with a first rate PR staff that on a twice weekly basis is rolling out nice sounding messages that inspire investors and some employees. I must say I don't believe I have ever seen a more effective non message message campaign from a company. It does impress me, but then you need good PR when the product is so bad.
So, once the stock buy backs are done. Once the Goog perks, but not the culture have been handed out. Once the new acquisitions - which are really fun to do especially when you don't know how to manage the business - fail to deliver new growth (Remember the projects these people put their heart and soul into are being crushed so that their labors can be directed to other things. ) Then the Perks will be seen for what I describe earlier, an attempt to buy off employees in the short run at the expense of both employees and shareholders.
Fancy perks mean nothing! People want to be lead. They want a leader! They want someone who they know has their back. They want to be built into a team and charged with an outlandish task and they will then give all to accomplish that goal.
Leadership is hard MM. Too many people lead like this partial example by JFK "Before for this decade is out we will land a man on the moon." That is what poor leaders say. Listen to what JFK said next "And return him safely to earth." That is leadership. That is a message of hardship. That is the message of accomplishment and success.
It is not the play ground of the small minded listening to a consultant. That is why I decry this perks and other frivolous things as a complete and utter waste to shareholders capital.
This is a very strange post. And I am sure Gray will forgive me for posting a reply.
You say that the engineer MM likely knows the limits to her skills. That she is intelligent and does not try to do jobs she has not trained for. Can you tell us where she got her CEO training?
You further state that without actual knowledge and just blind faith you believe she either has on her staff or as a consultant, a PhD holding I-O Psychologist. And all blame for freebies and perks should be put on this imaginary PhD holding I-O Psychologist.
The next time you have a few minutes before trading begins for the day...use them to think and to do some research instead of manufacturing fairytale excuses for a rookie.
Reread my post, I said MM is "still in a learning to be mode" as CEO She is still in training for that position! And that is part of my point in the orginal post on perks and freebies. She has to lean on others at this stage. Those others are usually smart well paid professionals, who unlike Grey believes, are so corrupt that they extort fees beyond their requested advice. The professional world is smarter than grey gives credit. A fee sucking pro wpould last minutes in the big world. Grey sees thing through dark dark purple glasses and like basket says he may be a closet long!
MM's skills are limited by her experience at goog. As I once told an employees when he announced that he had 30 years experiences, "No! You have one year experience 30 times." That to me is MM. Experience at a rapidly growing company where failures are few does not temper the blade needed for the hard fight. She is just reproducing what she knew from goog not understanding that Correlation is not Causation.
I expect I will catch a lot of flack from Glodeagle the way Basket did a few weeks back. But, I am right.
Loeb made a bad hire for Yahoo long term, but MM serves his purposes while he plays financial engineer.