Philip Ellis
News & Views
Marissa Mayer resigns as Verizon acquires Yahoo

After a year on the market, Yahoo has finally, officially been acquired by Verizon for $4.5 billion. Yahoo shareholders approved the deal last week, and it was sealed on Tuesday. Verizon, the number one wireless operator in the United States, plans to consolidate Yahoo and AOL into a new subsidiary company called Oath, comprising 50 media brands, to be led by AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong.

The remaining portion of Yahoo will henceforth be known as Altaba, a holding company with stakes in Alibaba, overseen by Yahoo board member Thomas McInerney.

The acquisition “brings to a close the independent life of one of the oldest and most iconic internet brands,” writes Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch, “arguably the one that led and set the pace for search — the cornerstone of doing business on the spaghetti-like internet — at least until Google came along and surpassed Yahoo many times over.”

As expected, this means that Marissa Mayer is stepping down after five years as CEO of Yahoo. “While reaching this moment has certainly been a long road traveled, it marks the end of an era for Yahoo, as well as the beginning of a new chapter – it’s an emotional time for all of us. Given the inherent changes to my role, I’ll be leaving the company,” Mayer stated, in a note published to Tumblr, the blogging platform bought by Yahoo for $1 billion back in 2013.

The blog post, entitled ‘Nostalgia, Gratitude & Optimism’, continues: “Looking back on my time at Yahoo, we have confronted seemingly insurmountable business challenges, along with many surprise twists and turns. I’ve seen our teams navigate these hurdles and mountains in ways that have not only made Yahoo a better company, but also made all of us far stronger. During these past 5 years, we’ve built products that delight our users, focused on our clients’ businesses, driven substantial value for our shareholders, and endeavored to make Yahoo the absolute best place to work.”

Mayer has yet to say what her next steps will be. Despite the struggles Yahoo faced under her tenure, some commentators are bemoaning her resignation, considering the current state of gender inequality in the tech industry. “At a time when Silicon Valley has been forced to publicly grapple with issues of sexism, the decrescendo of Mayer’s tenure is doubly unfortunate,” writes Vanity Fair’s Maya Kosoff.. “There are so few female leaders in tech, and Mayer was seen by many as a female leader where few exist.”

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