Miami University Failed Trans

Read Ch. 1, 2, # & 3.

Read the case – Yahoo!: From Internet Darling to Fire Sale on p. 453.

Before you start writing, consider the following:

  1. Make sure you have a good understanding of Ch. 1, 2, & 3.
  2. Put yourself into Marissa Meyer’s head. What are the facts of what she did and what do you think was her motivation and thought process?
  3. The key question then for you concerning the case is – what would you have done if you were her during her tenure at Yahoo!?
  4. Think about Yahoo!’s plummet from leading the pack to badly trailing Google and Facebook? What caused it?
  5. Think about Yahoo!’s competitive position when she took over. How did it change?
  6. Think about its mission, vision, and values when she took over. What did she do differently?
  7. What strategic analysis did she do? How did she formulate a strategy? How did she implement it?
  8. What kind of strategic leader was she? How did her expertise and past experience at Google influence her strategic decision making?
  9. What kind of strategic planning did she do? Top-down? Scenario? Planned Emergence?
  10. What was her stakeholder strategy and impact on her stakeholders? Who were her stakeholders?
  11. What results did she achieve? The author refers to the turnaround as a “failed” one. Why? Do you agree?
  12. The case emphasizes the increase in market capitalization (i.e. the stock price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding). Is this metric an accurate representation of the organization’s value?
  13. Do some research on Yahoo!’s stock price during her tenure. Compare to revenue and net income. What does it indicate to you? Is it consistent with other key metrics? (e.g. P/E ratio; return on revenue; sales to market value).
  14. What would you have done differently in selling to Verizon? Did Verizon and Yahoo! make a good deal from their respective positions?
  15. Yahoo! held onto some assets. Do you agree with this strategy?
  16. Verizon planned to combine Yahoo! with AOL. Research AOL. What are the similarities between it and Yahoo!?
  17. What was Verizon’s and Altaba’s strategy going forward?

Note that I don’t want you to analyze what happened to Yahoo! (what was bought by Verizon) or Altaba (what Yahoo! kept) after the sale. The purpose of this case is to analyze Mayer’s strategic decisions at Yahoo!

Do not get caught up on the HR issues in this case. If you want to discuss them, do so in the context of how these decisions impacted Yahoo!’s strategic direction. And I really don’t want to hear about Mayer’s compensation. While I would love that payday, it did not impact Yahoo!’s ultimate outcome (unless you can prove me otherwise).

Now you are ready to write. Make sure you use the structure in the case study guidance

A note on outside resources. You may use any business related publication that discusses Yahoo! and Marissa Meyer in depth. You may want to look for resources concerning the “Wild West of the Internet”.


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