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With $6 Billion to Hire People Yahoo May be a Goldmine

With a new CEO at the helm, Yahoo’s plans for the $4 bil­lion it gained with the sale of Aliba­ba may be chang­ing. This is good news for new tal­ent, but bad news for shareholders.

In May, Yahoo announced that the $4 bil­lion it received from sell­ing 20 per­cent of its stake in its Chi­nese assets would go to the share­hold­ers. In ear­ly August Maris­sa May­er, the company’s brand-new CEO, indi­cat­ed she may have oth­er plans for the funds as she seeks to imple­ment her growth plan for Yahoo. This could mean that Yahoo, with its exist­ing $2 bil­lion in cash, could have $6 bil­lion with which to hire new talent.

Care­ful Review Lead­ing to Dras­tic Changes

When she came on board as CEO three weeks ago, Ms. May­er began a care­ful review of the company’s strat­e­gy and exist­ing assets. What she found is that the com­pa­ny is struggling.

The 2011 year end­ed with a 21 per­cent decline in rev­enue, accord­ing to Voice&Data. When she took her posi­tion as CEO, May­er had approx­i­mate­ly $2 bil­lion in cash to work with. An hon­est look at where Yahoo stands and her own goals for the future led May­er to reverse the company’s ear­li­er deci­sion about the $4 bil­lion com­ing from Alibaba.

While $2 bil­lion may seem like a suf­fi­cient amount to revive the com­pa­ny, May­er felt it was not. Because the com­pa­ny is com­pet­ing with big names like Microsoft, Google and Apple, they need more than this to get the tal­ent on board that May­er believes she needs to make Yahoo a suc­cess. Thus, the $4 bil­lion promised to stake­hold­ers may be retained for a new purpose.

May­er Active­ly Seek­ing Tal­ent and Acquisitions

While Yahoo’s state­ment ear­li­er in August only hint­ed that the mon­ey might be used in oth­er ways, Mayer’s actions seem to indi­cate it to be fact. A key com­po­nent of her strat­e­gy will be to hire new tal­ent for the strug­gling com­pa­ny. Almost imme­di­ate­ly after com­ing on board, she has been active­ly in the field, look­ing for up and com­ing play­ers and entre­pre­neurs that could become assets. For those who have the type of tal­ent Yahoo needs, this $4 bil­lion boost to the hir­ing bud­get could be a godsend.

Hir­ing new tal­ent is not the only plan for these funds, accord­ing to All Things D. May­er has also been eye­ing poten­tial acqui­si­tions. Among those ana­lysts believe may be in her sights are Pin­ter­est, Zyn­ga, Yelp and Foursquare. A tech move also seems emi­nent. Specif­i­cal­ly, she may be look­ing to invest in the company’s adver­tis­ing tech­nol­o­gy to bring Yahoo back to what it was in years past.

While stock­hold­ers may not be hap­py with these new plans, The Wall Street Jour­nal reports that stock ana­lysts see some ben­e­fit. In order to cre­ate a growth strat­e­gy, Mark Mahaney of Cit­i­group says that a com­pa­ny needs to have a size­able amount of cash on hand. By revers­ing the Aliba­ba deci­sion, May­er may have just bought Yahoo the time and resources it needs to grow to great­ness again.

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