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Yahoo! Offers Reason to Believe

Stocks in this article: YHOO GOOG

What will be necessary is articulating a vision for the company which suddenly gets investors to sit up and say "this stock shouldn't be trading at these levels."

Mayer has the ability to sell her vision and get Wall Street to buy in. She has the tech pedigree and the communication skills.

So, what is left to hate?

The financials? Well, we'll see later Tuesday when they announce earnings, but Yahoo!'s likely to show its second quarter in a row of revenue stabilization after four years of declines.

The irrelevance of the brand? Well, 700 million people a month beg to differ and the fact that Mayer decided to leave Google to join Yahoo! willingly says that she believes it's worth going to and not fleeing.

And, as a follow-on point relating to the board: why would she sign up to be presided over by a board that was still filled with bozos? Her hiring is an all-clear sign to investors on many fronts.

There are still challenges facing Yahoo! and Mayer in this new role. She's never led an organization before, obviously, and we've never seen her perform on so public a stage as she's about to.

Yet, if anyone had told you before Yahoo! hired Carol Bartz or Scott Thompson, that Yahoo! had a chance to hire Mayer, you would have said they were crazy.

This is a big deal for Yahoo! and its investors.

At the time of publication, the author was long YHOO.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Eric Jackson is founder and Managing Member of Ironfire Capital and the general partner and investment manager of Ironfire Capital US Fund LP and Ironfire Capital International Fund, Ltd. In January 2007, Jackson started the world's first Internet-based campaign to increase shareholder value at Yahoo!, leading to a change in CEOs in 2007. He also spoke out in favor of Yahoo!'s accepting Microsoft's buyout offer in 2008. Global Proxy Watch named Jackson as one of its 10 "Stars" who positively influenced international corporate governance and shareowner value in 2007.

Prior to founding Ironfire Capital, Jackson was President and CEO of Jackson Leadership Systems, Inc., a leadership, strategy, and governance consulting firm. He completed his Ph.D. in the Management Department at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, with a specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, and holds a B.A. from McGill University.

He was previously Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at VoiceGenie Technologies, a software firm now owned by Alcatel-Lucent. In 2004, Jackson founded the Young Patrons' Circle at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which is now the second-largest social and philanthropic group of its kind in North America, raising $500,000 annually for the museum. You can follow Jackson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ericjackson or @ericjackson.

You can contact Eric by emailing him at eric.jackson@thestreet.com.

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