That said, Yahoo! still has a direction.

Mayer's wants to reposition the company as a technology leader. In trying to do so, she has ruffled feathers -- many of which needed to be ruffled.

And the days of the doom-and-gloom talks are over. The company once again resembles an Internet pioneer. It's no longer just a media company.

There's no denying that Mayer still has plenty of work ahead of her before Yahoo! is fully turned around. But given that the stock has surged more than 110% over the past year, it's hard to argue that investors don't believe in her.

I'm not often impressed by corporate boards. But Yahoo!'s board certainly got it right when it hired Mayer.

I also believe Mayer's performance over the past year means that it won't be such "surprising" news the next time a big company hires a woman chief executive.

Along those lines, people have speculated that Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg will get tapped for a CEO job.

I've been on record as recommending her for the Microsoft job that doesn't come open but should. Thanks to Mayer, Sandberg will get her chance much sooner than otherwise.

Yahoo! threw Wall Street a curve ball by hiring Mayer.

What's surprising is that despite her achievements, and bottom-line results, people still criticize her methods.

Mayer is described as a person who loves numbers. Maybe her critics should look at Yahoo!'s numbers -- its stock price and Yahoo!'s traffic data -- before questioning whether she knows what's she's doing.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Richard Saintvilus is a co-founder of StockSaints.com where he serves as CEO and editor-in-chief. After 20 years in the IT industry, including 5 years as a high school computer teacher, Saintvilus decided his second act would be as a stock analyst - bringing logic from an investor's point of view. His goal is to remove the complicated aspect of investing and present it to readers in a way that makes sense.

His background in engineering has provided him with strong analytical skills. That, along with 15 years of trading and investing, has given him the tools needed to assess equities and appraise value. Richard is a Warren Buffett disciple who bases investment decisions on the quality of a company's management, growth aspects, return on equity, and price-to-earnings ratio.

His work has been featured on CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Forbes, Motley Fool and numerous other outlets.

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