This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Marissa, Who's Your Ma?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Marisssa Mayer's first anniversary as Yahoo! (YHOO) CEO coincides with another modest earnings report, so the chattering classes are unanimous in saying she just got lucky.

You know the scene in Remember the Titans where Denzel Washington asks a football player "Who's your daddy?" Well, today Mayer is the football player and Wall Street is asking, "Who's your Ma?"

Ma in this case is Jack Ma, profiled last weekend by our own Robert Weinstein. Ma founded Chinese Web site Alibaba, originally a small business-to-business site, now the largest e-commerce site in the world (sorry, Amazon.com (AMZN)).

Mayer's predecessors put $1 billion into Alibaba back in 2005, and that investment has paid off huge. Even though Yahoo! sold half the stake last fall, the remaining 23% is still worth more than the whole stake was worth when Mayer took over.

Ma stepped down as CEO, handing the job off to a protege, as the company prepares to go public later this year, but he's still got the government's ear and is still expanding. The company's latest venture is small-business loans -- forces in China's government want him to "shake things up" there according to Bloomberg.

Weinstein sees Alibaba coming to America soon, but there are no indications in a recent Wall Street Journal interview with Ma's successor, Jonathan Lu, that it's imminent.

Instead, the company seems focused on domestic acquisitions after its IPO, as Reuters reports , and could then be in a position to buy Yahoo! itself.

That's why the knives are out for Mayer this morning. Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider says Mayer has almost nothing to do with her company's success -- that it's all down to luck driven by her predecessors' moves.

Technically, he's right.

But only technically.

Yahoo! before Mayer was an elephantine media ship that was going to be sinking soon. That's what got her predecessors the axe.

Mayer has gotten rid of her deadwood, 1,000 jobs, as Carlson well knows, and used part of the Alibaba stake to buy 16 different companies, most focused on mobile apps, as CNN details, in order to get cloud-based engineering talent.

She now has one of the largest such teams in the industry, with offices in both Silicon Valley and New York. She's also got four floors in what was The New York Times building, plus enough cash on hand to buy the New York Times Company (NYT).

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,113.54 +61.81 0.36%
S&P 500 1,983.53 +9.90 0.50%
NASDAQ 4,456.0160 +31.3120 0.71%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs