New York-based hedge fund SpringOwl, a shareholder in Yahoo Inc., claims it has the cure for what ails the hemorrhaging tech-giant: fire more than 75 percent of its workforce, including CEO Marissa Mayer. This drastic step comes as shareholders within the company fear for Yahoo's future after it announced that it wouldn't spinoff its stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, according to AFP.
Mayer has been watched carefully ever since she took the helm at Yahoo in 2012. She has made various efforts to jump-start Yahoo's Internet advertising business since joining, but the already ailing company only lost ground to other internet giants like Google and Facebook.
Many analysts and observers familiar with the situation state that Mayer was doomed to fail the moment she became CEO, but SpringOwl managing director Eric Jackson asserts in a 99-slide presentation - among other things - that Mayer simply wasn't up for the task.
"It's not impossible at all," said Jackson in his slide presentation. "That's like watching Shaq shoot a few free throws and concluding it's impossible for all NBA players to make free throws."
Some of the changes that Jackson believes would fix Yahoo! include:
• Firing 75 percent of Yahoo's 12,000 staff, bringing the number down to 3,000.
• Replacing board members who reportedly have little experience in mobile technology.
• Ending employee perks such as free food, which have already cost the company $450 million so far into Mayer's tenure.
• Buying back $10 billion worth of Yahoo's stock, which would raise the stock price by $23 per share.
• Reverting to the old logo and bring back the old Yahoo billboard on Route 101 into San Francisco.
• Focusing Yahoo's business exclusively on legacy products, such as its home page and mail, while putting extra care into Yahoo Finance and Sports to help grow traffic.
"There's a very low probability that Yahoo is going to recreate how people search on a mobile device," Jackson said, according to CNN. "Google and Bing have won that war; Yahoo lost. It would be nice if history had gone differently for Yahoo, but it didn't; and we all must live in reality now."
In addition to firing Mayer, Jackson said he believes that with these plans in place, Yahoo could have billions at its disposal, ultimately causing the stock price to rise from $35 to $113.
Jackson isn't the only one who has chimed in on a way for Yahoo to get out of its rut. Shareholder Starboard Value got Yahoo to reverse a plan to see of its Alibaba stake (which Jackson condemned as "unattractive" to shareholders), while Canyon Capital Advisors urged Yahoo in a letter sent to its board on Friday to find a buyer for its core Internet business.