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Marissa Mayer Wants Senior Execs To Promise They Will Stay By Her Side Aboard Yahoo's Sinking Ship

Marissa is going full Captain Queeg over there.

According to re/code, poor Marissa Mayer has apparently reached the dreaded "Somebody call McKinsey" phase of her plan to save Yahoo (NASD: YHOO).

According to several people close to the situation, Yahoo has hired McKinsey & Co. to help the company decide which units to shutter, which to sell and which to invest more in.
The move comes as the company’s long-in-the-tooth spinoff of its Alibaba Group asset moves to completion. Sources said that the consulting firm was meeting with top execs to begin the process of figuring out how to organize the Silicon Valley Internet company’s core businesses going forward.

This all sounds good. Bring in the jedis from McKinsey and let them slash away with their super-expensive lightsabers at all the useless crap that Marissa and her team have bought in recent years. Maybe they can keep the flames of failure from spreading to Yahoo's engine room.

But Marissa better move fast, because the flames are licking at the door.Here's Yahoo's stock performance this year so far (via Yahoo Finance, of course).

Whatever she does needs to be dramatic, but not crazy. A captain goes down with the ship, but it's always better to keep your crew handy.

In addition to the reflection on what should happen to revive the core, which largely remains an advertising business, Mayer has also over the last month asked her top execs to make three- to five-year commitments to Yahoo. Sources said she told senior staff at meetings in late August and early September that they had to either verbally or in writing make the promise to remain.

But Yahoo is an ancient, smoking barge in a harbor full of beautiful new yachts. It seems like a bad time to be lashing yourself to the mast and pledging your fealty to a captain who has maybe gone mad.

That move seems to have backfired a bit, resulting in several major departures recently, including European boss Dawn Airey, marketing and media head Kathy Savitt, development chief Jackie Reses and many others to other jobs.

We're sure that they use different verbiage for this kind of thing in Silicon Valley, but in maritime law, they call it a mutiny.

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