Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! (Hardcover)

By Nicholas Carlson

Twelve, 9781455556618, 368pp.

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

List Price: 30.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A page-turning narrative about Marissa Mayer's efforts to remake Yahoo as well as her own rise from Stanford University undergrad to CEO of a $30 billion corporation by the age of 38.

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?

MARISSA MAYER AND THE FIGHT TO SAVE YAHOO! is the inside story of how Yahoo got into such awful shape in the first place, Marissa Mayer's controversial rise at Google, and her desperate fight to save an Internet icon.

In August 2011 hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb took a long look at Yahoo and decided to go to war with its management and board of directors. Loeb then bought a 5% stake and began a shareholder activist campaign that would cost the jobs of three CEOs before he finally settled on Google's golden girl Mayer to unlock the value lurking in the company. As Mayer began to remake Yahoo from a content company to a tech company, an internal civil war erupted.

In author Nicholas Carlson's capable hands, this riveting book captures Mayer's rise and Yahoo's missteps as a dramatic illustration of what it takes to grab the brass ring in Silicon Valley. And it reveals whether it is possible for a big lumbering tech company to stay relevant in today's rapidly changing business landscape.

About the Author

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.

Praise For Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!

The New York Times says the book is "a lot of fun to read" and "an impressive feat."

The New York Times also writes, "As Nicholas Carlson demonstrates in MARISSA MAYER AND THE FIGHT TO SAVE YAHOO!, a vivid account of her vertiginous career climb, Mayer is worth paying attention to for reasons that transcend gender. Carlson presents her as a complex personality who defies most stereotypes."—

"A corporate thriller [that does] a superb job of bringing to life the dramatic story of Yahoo."—The Financial Times

"A quick, compelling read...[one that] is, without question, a riveting lens from which to study Yahoo: There are ups, there are downs, there are heroes, and there are villains."—Fortune

"Good books about business and its leaders often come in two forms: a book with a message but without a gripping narrative to tell it, or a compelling narrative bereft of a message. In this extraordinary tale, Nick Carlson takes the reader on an amazing roller-coaster ride, traversing Yahoo's ups and downs, and in the end leaving us not just with memories of a thrilling ride but with wisdom. Once, Yahoo was King of the Internet. Over its two decades, Yahoo recruited able leaders who, despite previous successes, stumbled. Sometimes they were at fault. Sometimes they were defeated by forces Hercules could not control. Among the many virtues of this book is that Nick Carlson strives to understand, not punish, the amazing cast of characters in this long-playing drama. Memories will linger long after this roller coaster stops."—Ken Auletta, author and Annals of Communications writer, The New Yorker

"Nicholas Carlson has written the inside story of one of the most fascinating tech leaders of our time, Marissa Mayer, and one of the most frustrating Internet giants of our time, Yahoo. This is a fast-paced, compelling, and detailed account of Mayer's valiant efforts to turn round a company and culture that helped create the Internet as we know it.."—Richard Wolffe, executive editor,, and author of The Message

"Before there was Google or Facebook or even Amazon, there was Yahoo. It was the Internet to many in the 1990s. But it has been sick for more than a decade. In this fascinating, deeply reported tale, Nicholas Carlson, for the first time, tells us why. It's an astonishing story of mistakes and missed opportunities polluted by a startling lack of vision almost from the beginning. If you want to understand what truly scares big shots running companies in Silicon Valley, read this book. They all worry about becoming Yahoo."—Fred Vogelstein, author of Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, and contributing editor, Wired magazine