I just came across some comments made by Scott Galloway of NYU about Yahoo! (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer this morning on Bloomberg.
Anyone who has read my stuff for the last 14 months or so knows I am not a Mayer fan. I think her tenure has been a failure for Yahoo! investors. I don't think she should continue on as CEO because she doesn't think there's any problem while Yahoo!'s core business continues to become less and less valuable.
Mayer hasn't delivered any new products. The business is still PC-based in terms of where it makes its money. And her strategy has been all over the place.
In my view, Yahoo! should milk its existing businesses like AOL (AOL) milked its dial-up revenues -- for as long as it can. But in terms of a new business, I think it should focus on remaking Yahoo! as an over-the-top service. But that's a completely different kind of skill set needed from a CEO and likely most of the management team.
I would like to see Mayer depart and someone like The Chernin Group's Mike Kerns come back to Yahoo! to run it.
But back to Galloway's rant. He said Mayer was the most overpaid CEO ever and that the only reason the board wasn't firing her was because she was pregnant with twins. Further, he said this board was too worried about not appearing like they were "leaning in."
Galloway is conflating a bunch of stuff here.
Mayer is a terrible CEO. But she's not the most overpaid in history. She's not even the most highly paid in Yahoo!'s history.
I don't like that Mayer's pulled in $300 million in compensation from Yahoo! for three years of Livetext and Tumblr, but this isn't her fault. It's the fault of the compensation committee who awarded this contract to her when they were wooing her to leave Google (GOOGL) and become a first-time CEO. (Google is part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
The intimation that the only reason the board is keeping her around is because she's pregnant is just bizarre. If my daughter was running Yahoo! and Galloway said something like this, I'd want to go over to NYU and knock him back into his ivory tower.
Making irrelevant comments like this -- with no proof that it's actually true -- is not helpful to anyone.
If you're going to criticize Mayer -- which I will continue to -- do it based on the facts of her poor performance. They are plentiful.