Mayer urges Microsoft to deliver on market share

TECH GURU::Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo as CEO after a stint at Google, where she was responsible for a number of Google’s most successful innovations


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 - Page 6

Google veteran turned Yahoo chief executive officer Marissa Mayer wants Microsoft to deliver when it comes to wresting market share from the Internet company she was part of for more than a decade.

During a talk before financial analysts on Tuesday, Mayer spoke of “nice gains” in revenue from Bing-powered searches at Yahoo Web sites, but pointed to a pressing need for the Microsoft engine to win users from rivals.

Yahoo inked a 10-year alliance with Microsoft in 2009 to have Bing handle the heavy lifting of mining and indexing the vast array of online data, leaving the California-based Internet pioneer to customize results for users.

“We have to make the alliance work well enough that we are gaining share from the market,” Mayer said when asked about the future of the partnership onstage at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco. “We collectively want to grow share rather than just trade share with each other.”

Echoing an oft-heard theme at Google, Mayer stressed the need for speed when it comes to delivering fresh and relevant results to online queries.

Google ruled the US market at the end of last year, handling 66.7 percent of core searches, while Microsoft and Yahoo sites fielded 16.3 percent and 12.2 percent respectively, according to industry tracker comScore.

Mayer was Google’s first female engineer when in June 1999 she became employee No. 20 at the company created by Stanford University classmates Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

She left Google in July to take the job of CEO at Yahoo, which is struggling to re-invent itself after being eclipsed as the ruling Internet search platform.

Mayer managed some of Google’s most successful innovations and influenced an array of the company’s best recognized features, such as its globally popular search engine and uncluttered home page.

“During my time at Google, I got to wear different hats; pretty much everything across the board,” Mayer said during her first investor conference appearance in her new role. “Yahoo is a tailor-made job for me.”

Getting people to spend more time at Yahoo was depicted as the company’s biggest business problem.

Mayer stressed she was focusing on staying in tune with Internet lifestyles increasingly centered on smartphones or tablet computers.

About 200 million people access Yahoo properties monthly using mobile devices, according to the Sunnyvale, California-based company.