LAS VEGAS (TheStreet)-- Yahoo! (YHOO) is a name not generally associated with consumer electronics. However, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer stole the show at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Tuesday, for a number of reasons. Not only were celebrities present, but there was some vitriol shot toward the tech world and Mayer continued to have attention lavished upon her.
Mayer is no stranger to making news at events, even ones such as CES, which are more focused on electronics and not so much on a company like Yahoo!. Mayer gave a keynote address Tuesday in which she announced, to no one's surprise, another acquisition. This time, Mayer announced Yahoo! bought Aviate, continuing Yahoo!'s breakneck pace of buying smaller companies.
Aside from the acquisition, Yahoo! made several product announcements which were designed to continue making Yahoo!, in Mayer's words, "a daily habit." The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! also announced Yahoo! News Digest, an app for iPhones and iPod Touch, that according to the company "delivers the most important news of the day, twice per day, right to your mobile device." The app is built off of Summly, the company Yahoo! acquired last year from then 17-year old Nick D'Alosio. D'Alosio was on stage to show how News Digest works. Pretty cool stuff, I must say.
Mayer also unveiled why she's been spending so much money on acquiring journalists lately, as Yahoo! unveiled two new verticals, Yahoo! Food and Yahoo! Tech, which David Pogue is spearheading. Pogue was on stage Tuesday saying a lot of tech sites make tech hard to understand for the average person, and Yahoo! Tech is going to be more catered toward the average person, not the tech geek. As the tech editor of TheStreet, I say, "Competition only makes us all better." I'm looking forward to seeing what David and his team have to offer, but don't expect me to just roll over :)
Yahoo! also unveiled its new advertising product, as it seeks to boost its struggling core business. As part of this, Tumblr-sponsored posts are powered by Yahoo! advertising, as Mayer and her team look to start to generate serious revenue from the $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr, which is led by CEO David Karp.
Lastly, musician John Legend, who was rumored to appear at the talk, did in fact make an appearance and played a few songs.
While Mayer has yet to turn around Yahoo!'s core business (she said at a conference in September it could take three years), she's managed to be the bell of the ball wherever she goes, and she's taking Yahoo! along with her.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in Las Vegas