Yahoo 4Q15 Earnings Call Notes

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Yahoo! (YHOO) Marissa A. Mayer on Q4 2015 Results

In a turnaround you must literally turn around declining revenue

“In a turnaround, you must literally turn around declining revenue and get it to grow. There are two ways to do that: by returning current business lines to growth, or by adding new business lines that grow. When I arrived at Yahoo!, I reviewed all the lines of business. Each one was in decline and had been for years.”

We want to be known for discovery

“Let’s go into more depth on each of these. Our vision for Yahoo! isn’t changing and is rooted in our beginnings as Dave and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web. To consumers, we want to be known for discovery. We are guide to digital information discovery. We inform, connect and entertain them with our Search, Communications and Digital Content products. Search, Communications and Digital Content form a three-legged stool for Yahoo!”

We have 1B monthly users

“Our total user population exceeds 1 billion monthly users. While we have one of the largest audiences on the web, 2016 is about growing how much each user uses Yahoo!, in other words, engagement. ”

Addressing “blatant falsehoods” in the press

“I want to take a moment to discuss some blatant falsehoods that have been circulating in the press about the company’s spending. I have found these untruths to be upsetting, and I’m sure our investors have as well. And while we do not have time on today’s call to address all the inaccurate information, I want to touch on a few. For example, there have been reports of a $7 million holiday party and a $450 million spend on food over the past few years at the company. Both numbers are exaggerated by more than a factor of three. Our holiday parties globally cost approximately $150 per invited attendee. Our food program is extremely well run and all of our employee perks are standard for our industry, in line with other companies in our area and generally run less expensively here than elsewhere.”

Tech is an acquisitive industry

” tech is an incredibly acquisitive industry, and when I first arrived at Yahoo!, I felt it was very important to do many small talent acquisitions, in terms of really bringing new talent, new ideas, more entrepreneurial spirit into the business. We’ve done a good job bringing that talent here, and we have a lot of entrepreneurial spirit here in the company. And so we’ll continue to hire and we will continue to acquire. In the case of exceptional talent, I feel the need is slightly less acute now, because we have really excellent teams helming each of these areas that I have a lot of confidence in.”

We think search is a lot different in mobile than in desktop

“We think that the profile of how mobile search evolves will be somewhat different than web search evolved. Obviously, the web is really large. In some ways it’s nearly infinite. And so crawling all information that’s out on the web is publicly available, that’s privately available is something that is really challenging and very capital intensive. In Mobile search, it’s much more about your personal information. How can we make you more efficient, more effective, and know where you might want to be going, how to get you there most efficiently, what apps can help you accomplish the task that you ultimately want to accomplish? The search space is basically much smaller, the required disk space, the conversation space is smaller. “