Eric Jackson of Forbes wrote an article entitled, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marissa?” In that article, he discusses some of the work of Marissa Mayer, the relatively new CEO of Yahoo!. Marissa Mayer made waves when she made the jump from Google to Yahoo!. When she made this move, she brought with her a lot of questions, and she sought to change things significantly. The title of this article reveals that the author is trying to make two primary points. First, he argues that Marissa Mayer has a unique problem-solving style. Secondly, her management is a problem for people who would like to invest money in the company.

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The article details the difficult management task that Mayer had when she took over Yahoo!. While Yahoo! Had previously been in a strong position, competition in the online tech industry had made it difficult for the company. When Mayer came over, she had problems with a lack of talent, a lack of vision, and a bad balance sheet for the company. While the author notes that Mayer has taken some steps in order to improve the prospectus for the company, he also notes that Mayer has made a number of decisions that have hurt the company in tangible ways.

The author discusses her management style when it came to her staff. One of the things that she did was insist on having her own people around her. Rather than being willing to keep on some of the good staff that had helped to guide the company, Mayer fired a few of the top former executives. She brought in her own people, and they were extremely expensive, as well. Not only did this constitute a very high cost for a company with cash problems, but they also signaled to employees that Mayer was interested more in her own agenda than in the company’s continuity. According to the author her, the decision to fire a few of the top former Yahoo! employees has been a major failure that has held the company back rather than giving the company the boost that it desperately needed.

When it comes to team management, Mayer has demonstrated some lack of proficiency in her approach. In short, Mayer has been known to not show up for meetings on time and require all of her employees to work from the office rather than from home. She has a very hands-on approach to managing teams within Yahoo!, but some believe this hands-on approach is detrimental to the company’s success.

The author writes, as well, about the decisions that Mayer has made in spending the money of the company. She has been very aggressive in seeking to acquire other, smaller companies. In fact, this has been extremely necessary in this particular industry. Facebook and Google are two of the top competitors, and they spend money liberally on new acquisitions. However, it appears as if Mayer has not been smart with the money that she has spent. The author spends significant time questioning her decision-making ability. Likewise, the author notes that the results just have not been there when the company has decided to go the M&A route. With the exception of Tumblr, the company has not had much to show for the significant resources it has expended in trying to make those new acquisitions.

When one looks at this article, one can see some things about Mayer’s management style that are a definite negative for the company. For instance, she came in and tried to act like a new sheriff in town rather than nourishing relationships that could have helped the company. Moving forward, one in the management field might learn from her that it is best to think about keeping on some older employees rather than automatically trying to get rid of every single person who had something to do with the past. Mayer’s approach has been questionable in this regard.