Yahoo surprises by appointing Google’s Mayer as CEO

Yahoo Inc picked up Google Inc’s Marissa Mayer to become its new CEO which is a surprise choice. Marissa Mayer had already established herself as an engineer with enough credentials from Silicon Valley and with her appointment, signals a new focus on technology of this struggling internet company. Thirty seven years old Mayer edged out front runner and acting CEO Ross Levinsohn to become Yahoo’s third CEO within a year. The news of Yahoo’s appointing new CEO helped in pushing up its shares up by 2% to $15.97 after the trading hours.

Yahoo further informed that Mayer would assume her role on Tuesday when the company is scheduled to report its quarterly financial results. Her appointment as a CEO brings in a new strategy to focus on web technology and products instead of beefing up online content. She is Google’s twentieth employee and is the first female engineer to led various businesses at Google that include the designing of its flagship search engine and its location and local service businesses. She was credited for picturing the simple and clean Google search interface that is still in use today and a major selling point for the web surfers.

Ms. Mayer is recognized in Silicon Valley as focused more on technology than content as opposed to Levinsohn who in just few months during his helm tried to push a strategy of strengthening the company’s online content with media partnerships. Mayer hopes to stem losses to Google and Facebook what her high profile predecessors failed to do so.

Risk increased for other sites due to Yahoo breach

The day after the hackers exposing and exploiting more than 400,000 Yahoo Inc user names and passwords by publishing them on the web had raised serious questions about the risk of breach of security that other websites may also face.  Some of the logins and clear text passwords of Hotmail, Gmail, AOL   and MSN and Live.com were among those compromised.

The security firm Rapid 7 informed that a data file published on the web contained logins and clear text passwords of Yahoo in addition to other internet service providers that included Google Inc’s Gmail and AOL as well as Microsoft Corp’s Hotmail, MSN and Live Sites.  These three companies had requested the affected users to reset their passwords.  Yahoo in turn apologized for the breach in a written statement on receiving such bad news for a company that has already lost two chief executives in a year.  Yahoo is already reeling under pressure to revive its stalled revenue growth.

Yahoo’s Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn told attendees at the Yahoo’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday morning that he is optimistic about the company’s progress. At the same meeting, Chairman Alfred Amoroso acknowledged that Yahoo had indeed experienced a turbulent year. The breach of Yahoo’s security has drawn flack from security experts who said that a major internet firm like Yahoo must have done a better job in protecting its user data.

Facebook hits back at Yahoo

Facebook has fired the latest salvo in the ongoing patent saga between Facebook and Yahoo. The social networking site has accused Yahoo of infringing on 10 of its patents, according to a court filing. The decision comes close on the heels of Yahoo taking Facebook to court over patent infringement last month.

The move only sheds more light on the dark side of technology, where competitors continue to file claim after claim against each other for patent infringement. The patent wars have already rocked the Smartphone and Tablet space with companies such as Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. embroiled in legal battles.

The other important aspect of Facebook’s move is the timing; the company is all set for an unprecedented initial public offering, valuing the company at up to $100 billion. People following the tech space say companies are more vulnerable to patent suits, when they coincide with IPO’s, investors analyze and think twice before investing. Having said that about Facebook, Yahoo has its own fair share of problems to deal with, the Internet giant is battling against dwindling revenue, while it’s CEO Scott Thompson is facing ire from activist hedge fund Third Point.

 

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