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Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,680 ratings  ·  176 reviews
A page-turning narrative about Marissa Mayer's efforts to remake Yahoo as well as her own rise from Stanford University undergrad to CEO of a $30 billion corporation by the age of 38.

When Yahoo hired star Google executive Mayer to be its CEO in 2012 employees rejoiced. They put posters on the walls throughout Yahoo's California headquarters. On them there was Mayer's face
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Twelve
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Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't tell if this was a good book or just really interesting because the story is so current. Book was published January 2015. I found it to be a page turner and couldn't stop reading. Also interesting for weaving together stories from the early days of the internet. ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mayer took over the job of C.E.O. of the troubled Yahoo Company, in a male-dominated industry while pregnant. Nicholas Carlson’s book set out to reveal the controversy about Mayer because she was upsetting the women’s issues industrial complex. Some people were upset because she took maternity leave right after accepting the job of C.E.O. and the other people upset because she only took two weeks leave.

The book is really two books in one, as a good portion of the book is the history of Yahoo. It
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the riveting tale of the rise and fall of Yahoo!. The title and cover art gives the impression that it's basically a biography of Marissa Mayer, but that wouldn't have been nearly as fascinating. This book is about the history of Yahoo! and Google, the rise of the internet era, and activist investing, as well as Marissa Mayer.

Yahoo! was never a very good company, just a very aggressive one during an era (late 90's) when everyone and their mother was discovering this thing called the "int
Daniel Dent
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
Most books like this are written either as success narrative or deconstruction of the failure. Yahoo has been up and down. I think it's interesting listening to where company has been and hypothesis about where it may be going. Only time will tell. Kudos to author for doing his best without cooperation from many major players in the story. ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book. We are about to begin another in the perennial and interminable battles for the presidency. Several of the candidates claim extensive experience as business leaders so it's always interesting to read the inside stories of corporate business successes, failures, and often malfeasance.

I've read many books about Enron, the HP/Compaq merger problems, the 2008 housing crisis, etc. and much of the blame for those debacles can be blamed on individuals at the top. What is it we consid
Oksana Hoshva
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I wanted to read the book because of Marissa Mayer (not Yahoo!) I must admit. She indeed is a great example of PR that works. Being lucky to become the speaker at Google, I believe the publicity she received back then worked for her career in a great way. The book didn’t help much in understanding what is so special about Marissa, why is she cool (the only thing standing out for me personally is her passion for user experience that helped make products much better; doing things much faster and b ...more
Amar Pai
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this on the 'beach' at Camp Mather. It was somewhat of a page-turner, surprisingly enough. When I got home I googled Yahoo and Mayer to see if she'd managed to turn the company around. SPOILER ALERT: nah

Lot of good people at Yahoo. Crazy how it all just went to pieces. It happens though. Look at Kodak, United Steel. In 100 years who knows which companies will still be around, let alone what they'll be worth.

You have to discount 50% of criticisms of Mayer due to sexism, IMO. Can't be helpe
Colin Liew
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book to read. Learnt alot on how top managements work, how CEO thinks.
It also showed me that CEO, Top Management or Level 1-5 Manager are still humans, humans that make mistakes. They have their own personal challenges, they may hold alot of power, but they have their set of weaknesses that would lead to their downfall if not address and fixed quickly.

It's just like what Marissa Mayer said in her 2018 interview, There’s a great children’s book called “Rosie Revere, Engineer,” ab
Heino Colyn
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’re interested enough in Yahoo or Marissa Mayer to read this now, you probably know how this story ends. Regardless, the majority of this book focusses on the fascinating history of Yahoo and I discovered just how much I did not know. I think the general structure could’ve been a little better, but apart from that, I enjoyed the read. Even though I was rooting for Marissa before she took over as CEO, being one of her direct reports sounds kind of miserable. Then again, she took away their ...more
Abbie Real Dimaano
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is probably one of the best non-fiction/business/biography-esque books I’ver read in the last few years. The book is in-depth and will take you to a spin from the early Internet years to the modern-day “can’t live without my smartphone” years. I’ve always been fascinated by Yahoo! and Marissa Mayer and this is such an indulgent read. Learned a lot, too.
Astrid Willis-countee
Interesting background on Yahoo as a company. I wish that I had learned something new about Marissa Mayer. Possibly because this book is about Yahoo some of that information was left out since she spent the entire beginning of her career at Google. Overall, this was a good read and I learned alot about the background of Yahoo that helps to put into perspective news reports that I remember seeing during Marissa Mayer's tenure as CEO. ...more
Ramprasad Rajendran
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
It helped understand how much not only Marissa but even the previous CEOs prior to her had helped shaped Yahoo!. Also shows how difficult it is to steer a company in the right direction especially when it is big and also when it is public and there are so many other external factors.

A page turner and a good read!
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-rc, biography
A painful reminder of how the internet's early tech giant got sidestep by intense competition. A combination of Yahoo's history and also Marissa Meyer's short biography. ...more
Inian Parameshwaran
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Was a fun read on Yahoo's founding story and the role key people played in its development. Doesn't cover the Verizon saga though (obviously, the book was published before that) ...more
Nichola Gutgold
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found this book well written and insightful. It is more than just a book about Marissa Mayer though, it is also a book about the rise and fall of the.com industry and the politics that come into play for the big players. Three takeaways from MM’s career that the author drives home are: 1.take the scariest option 2.make yourself useful and 3. ignore the haters. I highly recommend this book.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: Getting the insider perspective is like getting the secret access to a whole new world I don't think I'll ever want to be a part of. It's a book based on gossip, but still great to listen to and makes for some good popcorn time.


The audio book starts off strong. The narrator has a deep and journalistic approach to the story, which is appropriate given that it's a journalist's account of Yahoo!, Marissa Mayer, and the many other CEOs that Yahoo! has had. Therefore, as a reader, I c
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fascinating book. We are about to begin another in the perennial and interminable battles for the presidency. Several of the candidates claim extensive experience as business leaders so it's always interesting to read the inside stories of corporate business successes, failures, and often malfeasance.

I've read many books about Enron, the HP/Compaq merger problems, the 2008 housing crisis, etc. and much of the blame for those debacles can be blamed on individuals at the top. What is it we consid
Atharva Patil
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
My Rating: 3.5/5

I recommend the book to someone who is interested in the history of consumer internet, the rise of dot com, the dot com bubble crisis and the unending struggle of the once internet monarchs Yahoo! to rise up to the challenge of their rivals. Also, if someone is interested to followup on Marissa Mayer’ career so far as the new CEO of Yahoo!.

Marissa Mayer and the Fight to save Yahoo!, never has a book title been so misleading. Also, never has a non-fiction book about a company
Doug Kerwin
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was truly captivated by the history of Yahoo and it's string of CEO's. As to the premise in the book's title, the question really is can Yahoo be saved by anyone. I thought this was summed up well at the end of the book with this statement: "Yahoo suffers from the fact that the only reason it succeeded in the first place was because it solved a global problem that lasted for only a moment", continuing that "Yahoo hasn't found its purpose since - the thing it can do that no-one else can."

I am c
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a fascinating read - no mean feat given the amount of focus dedicated to share prices. But huge credit to the author, the business speak was very readable and (crucially) interesting. In addition, there was keen focus on telling a story - I have read non-fiction business books in the past that have felt more like essays stitched together with no real direction or message. In this book, Yahoo's past, present and looming future were carefully dissected.

I would have enjoyed a bit more of a
Brooke Barnhardt
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book mainly just from a current events standpoint. It was interesting to learn Yahoo's story since I have been curious how and why they still exist. It's amazing to me that they're even still around - having been beaten out of search by Google years ago. Yahoo has yet to find their niche or real purpose in the internet world, but the fight isn't over. I was a little disappointed reading this book because I expected to like Marissa Mayer and have her emerge as a role model ...more
Vidya Balakrishnan
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
One would think this book is only about Marissa but its not. This book is a detailed timeline of Yahoo! right from its inception. I found it fascinating primarily because of two reasons 1. there is a lot of information on the different CEO's who took charge of Yahoo! and the mistakes they along with the management made, so there is plenty of insight on what happens behind the curtains of a big organization, especially the parts on M&A. 2. I found the concept of activist investing to be interesti ...more
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
The author presents the problem with Yahoo excellently well. But when it comes to Marissa Mayer's reign the author seems vindictive rather than critical. Agreed Ms. Mayer has made her share of mistakes while running the company, but any CEO would have made mistakes in trying to turn around Yahoo. I give her full marks just for giving it her all while trying to do so. I know I would not be so driven had I had the comfort of her wealth. But then maybe that's what sets her apart. Hope she succeeds. ...more
Nitin Bhandarkar
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars for the style of writing and 4 for it's content. They are neck to neck, but the style makes the content all the more fascinating to read.
This book is not only about Marissa Mayer though the title may suggest that. It is about Yahoo, it's founding history and the succession of CEOs. I am in awe of Silicon Valley and the great stories that develop there. This book is one good read about a great Silicon Valley story.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Bit of a misleading title, since it's about (the history of) Yahoo, instead of Mayer's dealings with it.

The book reads as a bunch of business articles wrapped together. Didn't get the feeling the author did a lot of 'field research'. The most interesting parts were the startup days, Jeff Malletts role, and also Mayers way of working.

David Fernandes
A very interesting portrait of the internet corporations' world, although made up of 70% contextualization and only 30% (at most) of Marissa Mayer, really.
The title is a little bit misleading.
Very interesting anyway.
Ramakrishnan M
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it
the book is a great insight into yahoo as a company, its history etc.

marissa Meyer is a small and recent part of the story....which is to be continued

overall okish book
Mohamed El-Zeadani
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps one of the most successful women in Silicon Valley – well known for her hard work and movie star looks – Marissa Mayer’s journey makes for a good read. From Wisconsin, to Stanford, to Google and then Yahoo, Marissa managed to accomplish something that only a few ever dream of, and Nicholas Carlson did a good job at portraying her story. I found the writing easy to follow, enjoyable and to the point. If I had to describe the book in one word, I would say a page-turner.

The author started t
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book and very well written. I bought this book from a book fair without having any context and didn't know what to expect. Nicholas Carlson does a great job in not only explaining Marissa Mayer's tenure at Yahoo but digs deep into the history of Yahoo.

Since Yahoo was at its peak before my time, I only vaguely remember Yahoo being the go-to search engine and just knew that its dominance shrunk without having any real context. Carlson provides a great overview of what exactly went r
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audio book and it is outstanding. This book will educate you on how a business is started, funded, and run, and run poorly as well as the same for an internet start-up business because Yahoo! was a start-up in the early to mid-1990's when the Internet was in its infancy in the United States.

The book provided a very good education on how the equity and venture capital markets work to fund a start-up like Yahoo!

The book details how Yahoo! was funded, how it transitioned from on
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Nicholas is Editor-in-Chief of Business Insider and the author of "Marissa Mayer and the Fight To Save Yahoo!" Previously, he was Business Insider's chief correspondent.

His investigative reporting rewrote the histories of Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon. Carlson's coverage of Yahoo won Digiday's award for Best Editorial Achievement of the year in 2014.

In 2015, Carlson's New York Times Magazine cove

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