After burning through $3 billion, Marissa Mayer may finally put the brakes on buying startups
Marissa Mayer has spent nearly $3 billion on buying startups during her first 3 years at Yahoo.
But she may finally put the brakes on her spending spree, the Yahoo CEO indicated during Tuesday's earnings call.
"I feel the need [for M&A] is slightly less acute now," Mayer said during the earnings call.
Mayer said it was important for her to do many acquisitions, especially when she first got to Yahoo, in order to bring in new talent and ideas to the company. But after scooping up nearly 50 startups so far, Mayer says the company is now full of talent and entrepreneurial spirit.
"We have really excellent teams helming each of these areas that I have a lot of confidence in," she said.
The slowdown might have to do with Yahoo's plan to tighten up a little bit, as it faces pressure from external investors. During Tuesday's earnings, Yahoo announced that it will cut 15% of its workforce and shut down 5 overseas offices by the end of the year. It also plans to shut down some of its old businesses and focus on its core units.
The plan to be more careful with acquisitions also comes on the heels of a $4.5 billion goodwill impairment charge Yahoo incurred this quarter. For example, Tumblr, the blogging site Yahoo bought for $1.1 billion, was marked down to $230 million, while other companies it bought in the US and Canada accounted for $3.7 billion of the total impairment charges.
Most of the writeoffs came from acquisitions made prior to 2012, the year Mayer joined the company — specifically,$2 billion came from deals originated before 2007, and $1.3 billion came from deals that happened in between 2008 and 2011.
But don't count out Yahoo entirely if you're looking for a potential buyer for your startup. Mayer said she's still open to deals under certain circumstances.
"We will continue to acquire in the case of an exceptional talent," she said.
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