Here's Why Yahoo's Mayer Will Win in Mobile: Pro

Monday, 22 Oct 2012 | 3:52 PM ET
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Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer has the cards stacked in her favor when it comes to tackling mobile, the number one issue haunting Internet companies, said Ann Winblad, co-founder and managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

"I think she has a lot of strong cards to play. She's got a lot of cash, so she can do acquisitions. ... She also has ad platforms ... so she understands ad networks and she is going to have to figure that out on mobile," Winblad said Monday on CNBC's Squawk on the Street. "And she understands content, they've monetized it before and they are going to have to monetize it differently again."

One way to do boost the mobile presence of Yahoo is through acquisitions, said Winblad, whose venture capital firm focuses on investing in software companies. And while other tech companies may also be flush with cash to make those deals, Mayer's connections to the tech community will help her to make deals her competitors cannot, Winblad said.

Trading the Cloud Plays
CNBC's Julia Boorstin reports on what analysts will be paying close attention to in Yahoo's earnings data expected after today's bell; and Ann Winblad, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners co-founder, explains three huge shifts happening in technology right now.

"Every time there is a strong company in the Valley, it leads to innovation. The number of new innovators that had Google people in them is huge and that's her tribe. She knows that tribe really well, she's been in touch with that tribe, she is respected by that tribe, that is a competitive advantage for her in acquisitions," Winblad said.

Mayer, who took over as CEO of Yahoo in July, is expected to be on the company's earnings conference call Monday afternoon. While Mayer has yet to reveal many details about her long-term vision for the company, investors are hoping that she will shed some light on her plans during the call.

While Yahoo has struggled in competing against other Internet companies like Facebook and Google for online advertising revenue on desktops, all web companies are now having to deal with how to make money from advertising on the mobile platform, which puts Yahoo on an even playing field with its competitors, Winblad said.

"This is a big experiment in the tech industry. Everyone is a 2.0 company now whether they want to be or not. Google, Microsoft even Amazon is going to have to deal with mobile sooner versus later. So it's jump ball and she is going to enter the court strongly with everybody else," Winblad said. "The deck is stacked in her favor, but it's going to require a lot of skill and a lot of competition for talent."

email: tech@cnbc.com


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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.