Chief Yahoo Marissa Mayer looked pretty damn chipper as she took the stage in a small room overlooking Times Square, late yesterday afternoon.
Technically, the press had gathered for the announcement of a revamped Flickr. (It’s biggr! It’s spectaculr!) An entire lounge had been papered over with giant images pulled from the service, and in the square below a mob of T-shirt-wearing fans/paid actors were jumping up and down and hollering and waving Flickr signs in celebration.
But with David Karp slouched in the front row, it was clear this was about more than the addition of full-bleed photos to a decade-old service.
Coach Mike Bloomberg turned up, of course. How could he miss the party for a billion-dollar consumer-web exit? He entered to “Empire State of Mind” and broke out the pom-poms: “This really is very exciting news, not just for Tumblr and Yahoo but also for New York City, because it helps show what a player New York City has become in the tech industry.”
He also welcomed the announcement of Yahoo’s new New York presence, harkening back to the bad old days: “Twenty years ago if you looked out the window, there were plenty of yahoos in Times Square. But now the Yahoos here will make an honest living.” Only a few months left to nail down that legacy.
Skeptical tech journalists took the opportunity to ask how, exactly, Ms. Mayer plans to ensure that Tumblr doesn’t turn into another one of Yahoo’s many, many bungled acquisitions. “I think that the big piece here is all companies come down to people. David and I have a very clear understanding,” she said, adding, “We have an all-new executive management team so everyone has the benefit of history.” Time will tell!
After she’d brought the presser to a close–more “Empire State of Mind” playing–a smiling Ms. Mayer approached the hoodie-clad Mr. Karp, who slouched, hands in pockets, next to a caftan-wearing blonde. “Is this your mom?” Ms. Mayer asked.
The answer must’ve been yes, because the older woman promptly pulled the CEO of Yahoo into an immense hug.