Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Regrets Buying Tumblr Instead Of Netflix Or Hulu As It “Would Have Been A Better Acquisition”

Marissa Mayer, the former CEO of Yahoo, is recalling her time at the tech company and opening up about some regrets.

During Mayer’s tenure at the top of Yahoo, the company bought the microblogging platform Tumblr for $1.1B in 2013 but feels that they should’ve bought Netflix or Hulu instead.

“We looked at a transformative acquisition, and we bought Tumblr,” Mayer told Tech Brew in an interview. “At the same time, we were also considering whether it was possible to buy Hulu or, ironically, Netflix. And I think Netflix was $4 billion and Hulu was at $1.3 billion at the time. And either of those, with hindsight being 20/20, would have been a better acquisition.”

In 2016, Yahoo wrote down the blogging platform’s value by $230 million. By 2019, after Verizon had acquired Yahoo, the company sold Tumblr for far less than it had paid for it.

Although Yahoo didn’t buy either streaming service, they did take a shot at streaming with Yahoo Screen creating shows like Sin City Saints and Other Space as well as picking up a sixth season of the NBC-cancelled sitcom Community.

Mayer also said that the other two regrets she had as Yahoo’s CEO was hiring Henrique de Castro as the chief operating officer instead of Lisa Utzschneider and not making “the tax-free Alibaba spinoff to separate the assets of the company.”

“If we had done that, it would have saved $10 billion for our shareholders or made them that money, whichever way you look at it, in taxes that were paid,” she added. “And two, it would have allowed Yahoo to continue as an independent company, and it would have potentially had more success.”

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