When Yahoo hired star Google executive Mayer to be its CEO in 2012 employees rejoiced. They put posters on the walls throughout Yahoo’s California headquarters. On them there was Mayer’s face and one word: HOPE. But one year later, Mayer sat in front of those same employees in a huge cafeteria on Yahoo’s campus and took the beating of her life. Her hair wet and her tone defensive, Mayer read and answered a series of employee-posed questions challenging the basic elements of her plan. There was anger in the room and, behind it, a question: Was Mayer actually going to be able to do this thing?
Nicholas Carlson is Business Insider‘s chief correspondent. His investigative reporting rewrote the histories of Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon. His coverage of Yahoo won Digiday’s award for “Best Editorial Achievement” of the year. Carlson is a frequent guest on CNBC and contributes to the Bloomberg biography series, Game Changers.