With Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on career death watch following the high-profile exits of executives at the company and declining revenue, one analyst has already skipped ahead and drawn up a list of the executive's potential successors.
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck has named 10 possible candidates for the position of CEO should Mayer depart from her role. Peck picked the names based on conversations with industry contacts and investors.
Perhaps the most prominent name on the list is Sheryl Sandberg, but the analyst acknowledges the Facebook executive would be unlikely to take on the role. Other candidates include Prometheus Global Media CEO Ross Levinsohn, who previously served as interim CEO at Yahoo, and former COO of the company Dan Rosensweig, who now serves as CEO of online student services company Chegg. Peck says he could also picture YouTube CEO Susan Wojicicki succeeding Mayer.
Mayer's tenure at Yahoo, which started in July 2012, has been marked by a 15 percent decline in revenue despite $7 billion invested in acquisitions and research and development initiatives aimed at turning the company around, notes Peck. He says he expects she'll either leave her role or be fired within a year.
A recent expose in Forbes ominously titled "The Last Days of Marissa Mayer" details some of Mayer's more outrageous missteps during her time at the company. She's been known for making bad hires, micromanaging staff, and mismanaging assets. Here are some examples from Forbes.
Mayer brought on Netflix executive Mike Kail in 2014 to fill the role of chief information officer, which had been vacant for a year. Shortly after Kail was hired, Netflix sued him for fraud over allegedly taking kickbacks from vendors. She also hired former Googler Henrique de Castro, and then had to pay him $58 million when she fired him for ineffectiveness.
Mayer admitted to spending a weekend with design staff debating details as minute as how far to slant the exclamation point in Yahoo's logo.
Glam over results.
Yahoo spent $2.5 million to sponsor the Met's Costume Institute Benefit this past May, and doled out another half million dollars for related events. Aside from Mayer's co-chairing the event in an Oscar de la Renta gown, Yahoo's role in the benefit was barely visible. The corporate logo appeared nowhere, though Yahoo was at least mentioned in the program; and instead of filling the company's two tables with top sales clients, Mayer filled the chairs with employees and friends.
Here is Peck's complete list of prospective new CEOs for Yahoo, in no particular order:
- Prometheus Global Media CEO Ross Levinsohn
- Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig
- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
- CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone
- 1stdibs CEO David Rosenblatt
- President of Americas operations at Google Margo Georgiadis
- YouTube CEO Susan Wojicicki
- General Electric vice chair of business innovations Beth Comstock
- President of ad sales at NBC Universal Linda Yaccarino
- Vessel CEO Jason Kilar
Yahoo declined to comment for this post.