A technologist hasn't run Yahoo! for 15 years. Ever since the company's founders decided to listen to Wall Street, hire a CEO named Tim Koogle and become a "portal" and then a "media company," Yahoo! has been at odds with the ethos of its Silicon Valley home.
The company Mayer took over last summer was a collection of media properties -- news, weather, sports, business -- with most of the technology work
Mayer's primary goal is to change this, but Yahoo! is a damaged brand in the Valley. Years of putting finance ahead of technology, at Wall Street's insistence, has hurt its reputation among the people Mayer most needs to trust her, the relatively small number of super-talented programmers and thinkers from whom the next big thing may emerge.This isn't a problem for Facebook (FB - Get Report). It's too new. It's not a problem for Google (GOOG). Google has earned the trust of talent. Even people who have left it tell me it's a good place to be from. But it is a problem for such Silicon Valley rivals as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report), which has had more drama than a prime-time soap over the last decade, and for Oracle (ORCL - Get Report), where everyone knows the bottom line is the only one that counts. Strange as it may be to know, the bottom line isn't the only line talent looks at. (I'm married to a talented programmer, so I know this.) Relationships matter to talent, the work matters to talent, the team matters to talent, and the feeling that their work -- their life's work -- is in good hands matters a lot. So, TechCrunch reports,
At the time of publication the author had positions in YHOO, MSFT and GOOG. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.