This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

Marissa, Who's Your Ma?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Marisssa Mayer's first anniversary as Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) 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, (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

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
YHOO $27.05 -3.30%
AAPL $95.24 1.30%
FB $99.80 -4.10%
GOOG $683.10 -0.07%
TSLA $148.02 -9.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,027.05 -177.92 -1.10%
S&P 500 1,853.44 -26.61 -1.42%
NASDAQ 4,283.7530 -79.3910 -1.82%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs