SAN FRANCISCO -- Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer talked up her ability to turn around the struggling Internet pioneer, saying she would focus on "the dozen or so applications that people use all the time on their phone" to encourage users to spend more time and advertisers to spend more money on them.
The advantage for Yahoo, Mayer said, is that its core offerings already focus on the Internet's daily habits such as email, search, news, finance and sports. Now Yahoo is looking to make those experiences better for the 200 million monthly active users who use Yahoo on their mobile devices, Mayer said.
Mayer made the remarks at an investor conference in San Francisco hosted by Goldman Sachs.
Investors are listening carefully for clues to how Mayer plans to stop its long downward spiral. Yahoo has continued to lose share in its core business of display advertising even after Mayer took over as CEO last year.
EMarketer predicts Yahoo's share of the U.S. display ad market will fall to 8% in 2013 from 9% in 2012. Google, where Mayer worked before Yahoo, will increase its lead to 18% from 15% in the same time period, while Facebook will climb to 15% from 14%, EMarketer said.
Yahoo has bought a handful of companies, including Wednesday's purchase of mobile app maker Alike, to speed its progress. Mayer said Yahoo would also probably shrink its stable of mobile apps to a dozen from about 60 to 70, ditching apps that don’t have enough users or don’t fit into Yahoo’s key focus areas.
She cited Yahoo Groups as an "ideal place to do group communication” and said Yahoo was spending time trying to figure out how to make email a better experience on mobile devices.