David B. Grinberg
I think Kim Ellison strikes the nail on the head — see her comments above. The Yahoo situation strikes me as an anomaly, especially for Silicon Valley of all places.
I think most folks are reading too much into this by over-focusing on telework without considering Mayer’s other possible larger motivations: showing strong-arm tactics, auditing the workforce, possibly restructuring, and — of course, the obvious — obtaining a ton of free media to get her struggling brand back in the national dialogue.
I predict that remote work will soon return to Yahoo, no doubt. I believe CEO Mayer is making a public statement not only to her employees, but to the rest of the high-tech world: there’s a new sheriff in town who is not afraid to shake things up — albeit temporarily.
Let’s also not forget the gender angle: female CEOs are still an overwhelming minority of the high-tech industry in general, and Corporate America and boards in particular. Thus Mayer needs Yahoo staff, stockholders, the high-tech world, and the public to perceive her as being a strong presence.
This may also be part of a workforce restructuring and re-evaluation at Yahoo — a workforce audit to further streamline operations and cut costs. However, if another one of Mayer’s goals is to draw global media attention to Yahoo and her management of the company thus far, then she has certainly succeeded.
Prior to her arrival, Yahoo was not in the media spotlight compared to Google and other competitors — it was all Google, all the time. That’s certainly changed, for now at least.
By obtaining this global press coverage, Mayer is putting the Yahoo name back in the news — which may boost brand recognition, site visitors, and perhaps even stock prices, etc.
You know that saying, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.