Marissa Mayer: Your Days Are Numbered!

I, me, Penney Vanderbily, was about the first to question if Marissa Mayer was the right person to lead YAHOO. Read my story from July, 2013 on

Marissa Mayer from Yahoo. I hope YOU don’t get HACKED


Then in 2014 I continued my attacks on HER.

Marissa Mayer’s Leadership: 10 Ways She’s Restoring Yahoo’s Fortunes

I began this article with “Glad somebody doesn’t think she is an idiot, because I sure do. ”


In May 2015 I went after her like there was no tomorrow:

10 Ways Marissa Mayer Is Reinventing Yahoo

I opened with “For nearly three years, CEO Marissa Mayer has tried to reinvent Yahoo, the Web search and services company that reigned supreme in the early days of the Internet. But the incredible growth of Google’s search engine and Web advertising business drained away revenue that once would have been Yahoo’s.

OK, now I am qualified as a Marissa HATER.

Today I see from Jeff Bercovici

San Francisco bureau chief, Inc.
Yahoo’s CEO employs a familiar management style, but she lacks the thing that made Apple, Amazon, and Tesla great.

Some of the world’s most innovative companies were built by people whose bosses told them they were failures. Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk all were or are known as the kind of CEO who can reduce an underling to a quivering mound of jelly with a fiery dressing-down or an icy silence, the kind who motivates more through fear than praise. “You need to figure out where your priorities are,” Musk supposedly chided one worker who dared to take time off to witness his child’s birth.

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer fits this template. “Marissa is the type of boss that makes you feel like you’re disappointing her at all times, so I always feel like I’m on the verge of being fired,” Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo’s senior vice president for communications products, told The New York Times. “It’s never, ‘Way to go, Jeff!'” Bonforte later amended his comments on Twitter, but what he said fits with other portraits of Mayer that have cast her as more than a little demanding, aloof, and perfectionistic.

Yet Yahoo is no Apple, Amazon, or Tesla. In the next few weeks, Mayer, having run out of other options, is expected to lay off a hefty chunk of her work force and begin the process of spinning off the core businesses of search, messaging, and media. (A spokeswoman had no comment on these rumors.) Welcomed as a savior upon her arrival in 2012, she is now regarded as merely the latest in a long line of Yahoo CEOs who promised to reverse the company’s 15-year-long slide and then failed to deliver.

When she first arrived from Google, Mayer had the approval of 99 percent of her employees, according to Glassdoor, a website on which people can rate their employers. That number has fallen steadily over the ensuing three and a half years, and now stands at 71 percent. Compare that with 90 percent for Musk, 80 percent for Bezos, 91 percent for Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, and 97 percent for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Even AOL’s Tim Armstrong, who presided over multiple rounds of layoffs and humiliating gaffes en route to selling the company to Verizon for $4.4 billion last year, comes in higher, at 74 percent.

Even those who’ve lost faith in Mayer–barely a third of her employees think the company has brighter days ahead–can hardly blame her for Yahoo’s plight. Turning around a failing consumer tech company is notoriously hard. (Armstrong basically did it only by remaking AOL as an ad-tech rollup, and then exercising canny market timing in selling it.)

Yet it doesn’t necessarily follow that Mayer is blameless for her squandering of goodwill. Last summer, after a New York Times exposé detailed the allegedly miserable work conditions at Amazon, numerous employees came forward to say they liked working in a culture where the reward for hard work is even harder work. The withholding-parent mode of CEOing gets results.

But for it to succeed, employees have to feel like they’re being driven toward something bigger, not just being driven. The people who drink the Kool-Aid at Amazon do so because they buy into Bezos’s vision of building the world’s biggest and best marketplace. Musk’s workers believe they’re weaning mankind off fossil fuels and helping it colonize other planets. Jobs wanted to make computers more beautiful and easier to use.

A vision is something Mayer has conspicuously been lacking ever since her arrival. The closest she’s come is a mashup of whatever’s working for other tech companies (e.g., mobile, video), with the phrase “daily habits” slathered on to provide some Yahoo-ness.

Again, that doesn’t make Yahoo’s ongoing struggle her fault. If others had a bigger, better vision for Yahoo, they kept it to themselves. But it does mean that Mayer’s Jobs-lite management style has made her a bad fit for Yahoo during what will probably end up being its final days as an independent entity. Great leaders can run their people hard because great employees, like sled dogs, love to pull their weight. But if you whip your dogs without telling them which way to mush, you’re not leading them–you’re just abusing them.


The MTA’s capital plan explained


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The first leg of the Second Avenue subway,
Second Avenue Subway begins to take shape

The MTA’s next capital plan is a massive, $29 billion five-year program to keep its transit system — which includes subways, buses, and railroads — in good condition and pay for big projects like the Second Avenue Subway. The MTA started five-year capital plans in the early 1980s when the subway was in dire straits, with frequent derailments. Over $100 billion has been spent since then by the state and city.

The current capital plan runs from 2015 to 2019. The MTA board approved it at its October meeting, and has not been sent it yet to a state review board for approval. The city has agreed to contribute $2.5 billion. The state has agreed to contribute $8.3 billion. The rest of the money will come from the MTA.

Here’s what it includes:

-Begins design work and utility relocation for the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway, which would connect the new line on the Upper East Side (coming in 2016) to East Harlem

-New technology that lets you pay for MetroCard rides with a smartphone or bank card

-Remodel 20 subway stations

-Purchase more than 1,400 new buses

-Buy 940 new R-211 subway cars

-Repairs of individual aspects of stations, such as a flight of stairs or platform.

-Thirteen new elevators to make stations wheelchair-accessible.

-Countdown clocks on lettered lines

-Start work on bringing Metro-North to Penn Station

-Continue construction work on bringing the LIRR to Grand Central

-Finish bringing Help Points to all subway stations, which connects riders with emergency services (such as if a person falls onto the tracks) and transit information

-Speedier bus routes– select bus service added to more lines, which includes swiping MetroCards before riders get on to save time and dedicated bus lanes

-Replace 86 miles of subway track to make it safer and smoother

-Positive train control, a high-tech signal system that can stop a speeding train and prevent derailments like the Metro-North crash in the Bronx in 2013, which killed four people.

-Upgrade of the signal system on the E, F, M, and R in Queens, as well as the B, D, F, and M lines in Manhattan, to communication-based train control. It will let the MTA runs more trains, as it does on the L line. It is currently adding the system to the No. 7 line, which is frustrating subway riders.

-Track intrusion technology– alerts train crews and Rail Control Center if a person or object is on the tracks

Agreement reached to bring Tri-Rail to All Aboard Florida’s station in Miami

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority unanimously approved an agreement that would bring TriRail to All Aboard Florida‘s station in downtown Miami — a move that would ultimately allow the commuter rail service to run between Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.

Of the 50 daily TriRail trains, 26 are expected to travel to All Aboard’s Miami station.

Under the agreement, a handful of organizations and government agencies based in Miami-Dade County would set aside $43.61 million to pay for a rail line connecting the CSX tracks, which Tri-Rail currently runs on, to the FEC corridor.  The money would also be used to link Tri-Rail to All Aboard’s MiamiCentral station.

Before the plan can move forward, the state’s Department of Transportation must also pledge an additional $17.2 million to fund the connection.



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