On one hand, the world still thinks rockstar CEOs can pull off a “Steve Jobs” turnaround. The reality is that they can’t because that was a once in a lifetime thing. The board and investors at Yahoo! need to ground themselves in reality and stop expecting huge growth or profits at every quarterly announcement.
On the other hand, a CEO needs to at least show investors and consumers a direction/clear path that they’re going to take to bring a company around to profitability.
Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer is fairly easy on the eyes, but her report card as a CEO doesn’t look nearly as good. Since taking over Yahoo!, I’ve seen Marissa look beautiful in that red dress in Glamour magazine, and I’ve seen her spend lots of money on seemingly pointless acquisitions like Tumblr. I’ve seen little to nothing else.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I hope Mayer can pull off a “Steve Jobs” at Yahoo! fairly soon. I think she’s a brilliant tech mind, and Yahoo! has the ability to make big waves. But I suspect her time is running out.