One of the best-known brands on the internet—Yahoo!—could be up for sale. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s new strategic plan, unveiled with the announcement of Yahoo’s 2015 results, works around three pillars—search, mail and blogging platform Tumblr—and four verticals that include news, sports, finance and lifestyle. As part of the strategy, Yahoo is looking to lay off 15% of the 11,000 staff it has, or 1,700 people. By end-2016, it would have 42% fewer staff than it had in 2012. It also plans to shut down overseas offices in Dubai, Mexico City, Milan, Buenos Aires and Madrid.
What is quite evident is that Mayer’s plan to turnaround Yahoo has not worked in the close to four years that she has been in the corner room. Much of the problem according to analysts is the identity of Yahoo. Unlike other Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple which are highly technology-driven, Yahoo calls itself a media company. While Yahoo’s core business has been dwindling, its investments are paying off pretty well. In 2005, Yahoo invested $1 billion for a 40% stake in China’s Alibaba. Despite selling a portion of it for $7.6 billion, the balance is worth $25 billion. That is a lot more than the core business. It is time to separate the core business from the investments it has made.