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Marissa Mayer Leadership at Yahoo Company (Essay Sample)


Yahoo was once a giant in the Internet world, experiencing rapid growth and soaring stock prices after being founded in 1994.  But currently Yahoo is struggling against fierce competitors such as Google and Facebook.  It was clear to their Board of Directors and shareholders that radical change was necessary in order for Yahoo to remain competitive.  In 2012, former Google executive Marissa Mayer was named as the new CEO. 

Since joining Yahoo, Mayer has not been shy or hesitant about bringing about change.  This has included the purchase of more than 20 companies, a ban on teleworking, strict new hiring policies, and clashes with other senior executives and shareholders.  The results so far have been mixed, with some observers saying her hard-nosed approach is what is needed for a struggling company like Yahoo, and others saying that her style is overbearing and unnecessarily harsh.

Do some research on Marissa Mayer and her approach to managing change.  You will find a lot of articles about her as she is frequently in the news.  Here are a few articles to get you started:

Yahoo's geek goddess. (January, 2014). Vanity Fair, 56, 68. [ProQuest]

Quinn, M. (Jan. 22, 2014). Poof. Marissa Mayer's honeymoon period at Yahoo ends.Oakland Tribune [ProQuest]

Cook, J. (2013, Mar 15). Can a 'hard reset' give Yahoo a boost? The Globe and Mail[ProQuest]

After you have reviewed the background materials on managing change and finished your research on Marissa Mayer, write a 4 page paper addressing the following issues:

  1. Overall, how would you describe Marissa Mayer’s approach to leadership?  Discuss her leadership style the best you can in terms of being a charismatic leader, a transformational leader, and/or a transactional leader.  Draw upon the definitions of these types of leadership from the background readings and discuss them as they apply to Marissa Mayer.
  2. What do you think are the main benefits and drawbacks of Mayer’s approach to leadership and change? 
  3. How do you think Marissa Mayer should change her leadership style?

Assignment Expectations

  • Follow the assignment instructions closely and follow all steps listed in the instructions.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions. Don't go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to general background materials.
  • List supporting references and cite sources in proper format.
  • Use appropriate writing style in essay form (organization, grammar, and spelling).

Marissa Mayer Leadership at Yahoo Company
Course Title:

Marissa Mayer Leadership at Yahoo Company
Marissa Mayer was one of the women who were ranked first at Google where she was a former executive and later became the most prominent woman Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Yahoo (, 2015). As a leader Mayer was able to bring a sense of dynamism and excitement that the company had lacked for long. She was able to motivate the company’s employees’ morale through offering free meals and handing them with iPhones. Mayer also made efforts to rein the flabbiness of Yahoo through pulling in the workforce of the company that was scattered and required that these employees should appear at their offices (, 2015). This paper seeks to describe the leadership approach that Marissa Mayer apply in her leadership at the Yahoo Company, the drawbacks and benefits of the leadership style and the way in which Mayer can change her style of leadership.
Leadership Approach used by Marissa Mayer
Mayer leadership at the yahoo company can be described as a transformative, charismatic and transactional one. The concept of transformational leader is this case is described as the style of leadership in which the leader can inspire changes to the followers (Kendrick, 2011). The transformational leadership is capable of motivating the followers to perform their duties more than expected of them through raising their conscious level of the significance and value of the idealized and specified goals (Vijayaragavan, 2008). A transformational leader is usually enthusiastic, energetic, motivated, persuasive speaker and passionate. Mayer is regarded as a transformative leader through acting as a role model by creating a vision on how the female gender can as well achieve success just like the males (Kurvers, 2015). Mayer has also assisted to motivate the company’s employees to worker harder to achieve the set goals. Mayer is also a great communicator who uses stories and presentation slides to in delivering her messages making it enjoyable to the audience (Gallo, 2012).
A charismatic leader is able to obtain trust from the followers by taking risks that are personal as well as through self- sacrifice. Charismatic leaders are seen to have specific personality behaviours and characteristics that usually lead to positive impacts on their employees or followers. Some of the behaviours and characteristics of a charismatic include being a strong role model, one who shows competence and has self- confidence. Mayer as a leader is a strong role model since she worked as an example to other employees through working for about 12 hours every day and responding to the emails of company and employees (Gallo, 2012). Mayor is also self- confident in th...
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