Yahoo's Mayer Cleans House, Auctions Domain Names
Yahoo will auction more than 100 domain names from its portfolio beginning Thursday, as the company's CEO Marissa Mayer continues to clean house. Ridding the company of undesirable domain names isn't the only housecleaning task. The former Google engineer also requires managers to rate employees in a stack-ranking system.
Blogsport.com, crackers.com, cursed.com, finalcountdown.com, jockeys.com, truestory.com and webserver.com are among the names Yahoo plans to auction from Nov. 14 through 21. The prices range from $1,000 and up. Domain name marketplace Sedo will oversee the auctions.
The domain name webserver.com will go on auction for between $250,000 and $499,999. Sedo helps to determine the price through a pricing index created by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist using tens of thousands of sales from the Sedo marketplace. It compares domain prices to standard financial indices like the NASDAQ, essentially showing how companies like Yahoo can sell the domain names as an investment when they are finished using them.
Mayer, a longtime former Google employee, continues to have an impact on Yahoo that is both positive and negative. She's striking a positive chord with investors, pushing up the stock from $18 to about $34 per share in the past year, while plucking a sour note with employees. The latest move requires managers to rank their employees in a rating system called "stack ranking."
Microsoft did something similar under Steve Ballmer and failed. "The losers in the stack ranking game are the people who decide that their accomplishments -- whether it’s developing a customer-pleasing new piece of software or implementing an effective marketing campaign -- will speak for themselves when it comes to deciding their position in the stack," according to Forbes. Reports suggest this system helped the company weed out about 600 employees.
Yahoo's share of search and display ad revenue also continues to decline. Yahoo will end 2013 with 6.2% market share, down from 6.6% in 2012, according to eMarketer. Google and Microsoft shares should reach 72.9% and 6.7%, respectively, this year, and marketers will spend about 13.2% more this year in the U.S., reaching $19.6 billion.
Despite the decline in search and display advertising revenue for 2013, compared with the prior year, Mayer will deliver one of the keynotes at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. She plans to present Yahoo's vision for products, services and networks shaping the next wave of technology on Jan. 7.