Yahoo! CEO Mayer sets out mobile roadmap

Yahoo!’s new CEO Marissa Mayer has placed mobile at the heart of her turnaround plan for the struggling internet portal after admitting it had not yet capitalised on the opportunities smartphones provide.

Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! chief executive

Mayer, who took the helm in July, told analysts Yahoo!’s mobile plan will focus on adapting to smartphone users’ daily habits, which include checking the weather, sport results, news, sending emails and sharing photos.

She said that to date Yahoo! has “underinvested” in mobile, resulting in the “splintering” of the brand – which has more than 76 apps across the iOS and Android operating systems.

Mayer added: “Our top priority is a focused, coherent mobile strategy…it is clear that at some point in the future Yahoo! will have to be a predominantly mobile company.”

Despite the renewed focus on aligning its mobile products more closely with the brand, Yahoo! will continue to prioritise and make improvements to its existing search and display businesses.

Mayer said the company wants to be more competitive with Google when it comes to its share of the search market. When it comes to display, she said Yahoo! has “unique” segmentation of audiences, which is particularly appealing to advertisers.

Yahoo! hopes to improve its services to advertisers as it bids to increase its display share by investing in targeting technology that will help marketers buy ads automatically.

Her comments came as Yahoo! posted “solid” third quarter financial results that beat analysts’ expectations.

Revenue in the three months to 30 September rose 2 per cent year on year to $1.09bn (£686m), driving Yahoo!’s shares up 4 per cent in after hours trading last night (22 October).

In recent months Yahoo! has made several additions to its senior executive team, including the appointment of former Lockerz chief executive Kathy Savitt as its chief marketing officer.

Mayer, a former Google, became Yahoo!’s third chief executive in less than a year in July. She is charged with turning around the company that has lost its ground to advertising display giants such as her former company and Facebook.

Search revenue in its third quarter rose 11 per cent year on year to $414 million (£259m), while display advertising was flat at $452m (£282m).

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