Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Marissa Mayer! Dan Loeb! ResumeGate! High Jinks! Here Comes the Inevitable Yahoo Book.

Nicholas Carlson of Business Insider

Nicholas Carlson of Business Insider

Business Insider writer Nicholas Carlson will be turning his recent mega-article about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer into a book for Business Plus, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group.

The online piece, titled “The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography,” was well-received when it appeared in August. It covered the history of the photogenic CEO, from her seemingly idyllic Wisconsin childhood to her initial triumphs and later travails at Google to her ascension to the top job at the long-troubled Yahoo.

Carlson is going to use that opus as a jumping-off point for a longer narrative about the attempted turnaround of the Silicon Valley Internet giant, starting with the attack by activist shareholder and hedge-fund dandy Dan Loeb of Third Point.

Having covered all of that in obsessive detail, I can assure you that it is a great yarn, and there is a lot more stuff to uncover that never made it into daily media stories. Also, it goes without saying, there are some juicy characters here, including Mayer, Loeb and ousted Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson, whose resume-padding started off the whole roller coaster ride.

“I think that there is a really good story there, starting with the Loeb entry point into the company and how this calcified company was blown apart,” said Carlson in an interview today. “And Marissa Mayer is a huge character, and there are many sides to her that don’t always make compete sense on the surface.”


Carlson said he plans to work full time for Business Insider while writing the book, but that “I expect my golf game is going to get even worse due to neglect.”

Here is the press release on the new endeavor — I, for one, am looking forward to reading it:


New York, NY — September 24, 2013

Business Plus, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, is pleased to announce the acquisition of a new business narrative on Yahoo written by Nicholas Carlson, the chief correspondent of Business Insider. John Brodie, Executive Editor, Grand Central Publishing/Business Plus acquired world rights from Eric Nelson at Rabiner Lit.

In the wake of Carlson’s widely-read profile of Marissa Mayer, he is crafting an inside account of Yahoo that will show what it takes for an established tech company to stay relevant and what it means for someone like Mayer to reach the brass ring in today’s super-competitive Silicon Valley. In addition to Yahoo’s 38-year-old CEO, hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, Tumblr co-founder David Karp and Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma will also appear in the book.

Of the acquisition, John Brodie said, “Nicholas has shown in his articles that he has both the reporting chops and storytelling ability to take readers inside the room as real-life drama unfolds. Everyone here at Business Plus is excited to see what he can do with a book-length narrative.”

Said Carlson, “I’ve wanted to write a book for a long time. But I only wanted to write a book that would allow me to tell a thrilling story. Also, it had to cover people, companies, and themes that lots of people care about. Obviously, a book about the dramatic events at Yahoo over the past two years, meets those requirements exactly.”

Business Plus Editor in Chief and Publisher Rick Wolff added, “Everybody was buzzing about Nicholas’s piece in Business Insider. This is going to be a terrific narrative account.”

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”