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During Tuesday’s first-quarter earnings conference call, Yahoo! President, CEO & Director Marissa Ann Mayer talked about the company’s transformation that has led to a leaner operation that has produced greater customer engagement and customer experience levels.
“Yahoo! is amidst a multi-year transformation to return an iconic company to greatness,” Mayer said, according to Seeking Alpha. “We believe with the right people you build great products that the market responds to through increased traffic and engagement leading to greater revenue. This is one of the key operating principles in our transformation and one reason we focus on hiring and retaining the right people and really improving the user experience and product features we offer.”
Before Mayer came to Yahoo! had about 14,200 employees and 2,800 contractors. Today, the company has about 11,400 full-time employees and 830 contractors.
“This represents a significant sharpening of how we align people to our strategy and priorities,” she explained. “Over the past two years, two and a half years, we have retooled our culture to be extremely performance-oriented, concentrate our efforts in high-productivity locations, closing 17 office locations in total, approximately 80 products, reduced the number of contractors by nearly 2,000, and reduced our full-time employee count by nearly 3,000 people, including our recent reduction of about 1,100 full-time employees this past quarter.”
During that same timeframe, Yahoo! became a mobile-first company and grew its MVNS businesses (Mobile, Video, Native, and Social) from essentially nonexistence to more than $1 billion in annual revenue in 2014.
“We created beautiful, heavily engaged native mobile applications, which span everything from Yahoo Mail to news digest and weather and we’ve added Tumblr, BrightRoll, and Flurry to our product portfolio,” Mayer said.
One of Yahoo!’s three key strategic areas is digital content.
“For more than 16 years, we’ve built the best fantasy sports experiences for our fans,” Mayer said. “Our users spend nearly 30 billion minutes a year playing fantasy sports on Yahoo! and nearly all of those experiences have involved traditional season-long fantasy games. Recently, there was a rising trend around daily fantasy games. We believe this is an area where Yahoo! can and should compete. Over the past year, we have been working hard to create our daily fantasy offering, a unique take on this game genre to bolster our leadership in fantasy sports. Normally, we do not announce products before launch, but this has been such an area of interest for our fantasy players and our investors that we wanted to announce that we have a new daily fantasy offering in the works that will launch this summer.”