Mike Isaac

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Biz Stone’s Yahoo Turnaround Solution for Marissa Mayer: Move HQ to the Big Apple (Watch Out, Arianna!)

Charged with the turnaround of Yahoo, a company whose once lofty position in tech has slid in recent years, Marissa Mayer is expected to make a drastic change to the company in the coming months. (That is, beyond the Googley new free lunches for all.)

While we watch and wait for Mayer’s next move, Biz Stone has an idea for the newly crowned CEO: Pack up and head East.

The Twitter co-founder suggested in a blog post on Friday that above all else, a cross-country HQ relocation could provide the shake-up the stagnating company needs.

“Compared to newer powerhouse social and search giants in Silicon Valley, Yahoo seems faded and out of place,” Stone wrote. “The bold act of picking up and moving to New York City could cast Yahoo in the completely different light of a comparatively nascent and powerful player in the media capital of the world.”

It’s a flight of fancy that isn’t entirely pie-in-the-sky — every other week you’ll hear yet another story on the state of the burgeoning NYC tech scene. To boot, points out Stone, Mayer already sits on the board of both the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and of the New York City Ballet, and is apparently interested in fashion (Project Runway, anyone?). It’s a natural fit!

One minor quibble: While Yahoo has cast itself as a media company in administrations past — see interim CEO (and now ex-Yahoo) Ross Levinsohn’s area of expertise, for one — Mayer’s background and experience at Google suggest a product emphasis going forward. A move to New York, the so-called media capital of the world, may have made sense under Levinsohn. Mayer? Not so much.

But it’s Friday! The perfect time for throwing out ideas of what CEOs of faltering companies should do next.

Keep ’em coming, Biz.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald