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In Search for Board Members, Yahoo's Mayer Tries to Attract Silicon Valley Bigs Like Mary Meeker

Does Yahoo's small board need tech or turnaround experience?

Asa Mathat

According to sources close to the situation, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer has been drilling down of late on adding at least two independent directors to the Silicon Valley Internet company’s board.

Interestingly, while some reports have talked about adding board members with public company experience — a glaring absence on the seven-member board, especially since it is in the middle of a very public turnaround — sources said Mayer has also been turning to tech people she knows well. That includes an effort to recruit Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker as a director.

Meeker would be an interesting choice, given her deep ties with Wall Street from her many years as a top tech analyst at Morgan Stanley. She moved to Kleiner in early 2011 to lead a $1 billion growth fund. She has since been an active investor, with great success. Investments have included mapping company Waze, which was sold to Google, as well as SoundCloud and Square.

But sources with knowledge of the situation said that Meeker, while seriously considering it, is unlikely to take such a role, given the amount of time a Yahoo directorship would require. I could not determine who else Mayer has been attempting to tap.

She has been slow as a CEO to add to the board. Mayer added another big tech player, well-known entrepreneur Max Levchin, in late 2012. But there has not been another addition since that one, which came after a spate of departures.

Through a spokesperson, Meeker declined to comment, as did a Yahoo spokesperson (no comment is progress!).

Here is an interesting video of Meeker, who has delivered her famous annual state of the Internet report at our tech and media conference for several years and will be doing so again this year at the Code Conference.

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