Yahoo has gotten a new lease on life ever since ex-Googler Marissa Mayer took the helm. While the move was welcomed by Silicon Valley and seen as a brilliant and unexpected win by pundits, it was a bit of an odd choice.
That's because Mayer has always been product focused, she led the search team for more than a decade at Google and then worked with the "local web" team.
Yahoo, while ostensibly a tech company, isn't Google nor Facebook, it's as much a media company than it is a tech company.
It gets the vast majority of its money from ads, but, unlike Google, those ads are run on its own properties mostly alongside Yahoo created and owned content.
The trend towards the media business is not new, it's been the norm at Yahoo for years. Mayer, for all of her talents, doesn't strike anyone as a particularly media-focused person.
Yahoo will shift its focus on products and away from media and content
That's because she's not, all the changes and moves she's done so far at Yahoo hint at a much bigger emphasis on the "product" i.e. all the sites Yahoo owns that have long been ignored, Yahoo Mail, Finance, Sports even Search.
All those properties have been neglected while Yahoo focused on content and ad revenue from that content. Mayer plans to change that, it seems.
Reuters believes that Mayer will unveil her big revamp plan for Yahoo later today after the company reveals its third-quarter results. And that plan will focus heavily on the products.
Mayer, who has always worked with user experience, will focus on making Yahoo Mail better and a real contender to Gmail, on streamlining the homepage and, especially, on pushing mobile apps and websites much more than Yahoo has done until now.
Acquisitions and a mobile expansion are priorities
But it's not just improving the existing products, Mayer is looking to acquire several companies to expand Yahoo's coverage. Plenty of people believed this to be the right course of action for Yahoo, especially with all the cash the company has on hand.
While Mayer decided to give back to shareholders most of what Yahoo got for its share of Alibaba, Yahoo still has some $2 billion in cash, more than enough for the type of acquisitions Mayer is targeting.