Marissa Mayer ran Yahoo from 2012 to 2017, and she says one of her largest regrets is choosing to buy Tumblr—and passing up on Netflix.
- Mayer is a businesswoman and executive who has worked for Google and Yahoo while serving on the boards of Walmart, Maisonette, Jawbone, and multiple non-profit organizations.
- She most recently co-founded Sunshine in 2018, an artificial intelligence app that organizes phone numbers, email addresses, and schedules.
- Her company had the opportunity during her tenure to purchase several large companies—including Netflix and Hulu, which have grown tremendously in the decade since, she says in a recent interview for Tech Brew.
- She says her three greatest mistakes were hiring “the wrong COO,” selling its stake in Alibaba, and investing in the wrong companies.
Why It’s News
It is said that “hindsight is 20/20,” and it is easy at the moment to bet on the wrong conceptual horse when it does not appear like the industry is going to skyrocket into the mainstream more than ever before.
Tumblr was once one of the most popular social media networks online, with more than half a billion monthly visitors and the majority being millennials and Zoomers. That number dropped precipitously when the platform banned “adult content” in December 2018, alienating a large portion of the website’s user base and causing a mass exodus of 30% of users to other platforms.
Mayer left Yahoo following its sale to Verizon. She tells Tech Brew that she is optimistic about her new venture with Sunshine and believes that AI presents a valuable opportunity in the right hands.
“We looked at a transformative acquisition, and we bought Tumblr. At the same time, we were also considering whether it was possible to buy Hulu or, ironically, Netflix. And I think Netflix was $4 billion, and Hulu was at $1.3 billion at the time. And either of those, with hindsight being 20/20, would have been a better acquisition,” says Mayer.