Yahoo! buys BrightRoll for US$640m – though doubts over CEO Marissa Mayer remain

12 Nov 2014

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Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!

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Internet giant Yahoo! has announced an agreement to buy BrightRoll, a leading programmatic video advertising platform, for US$640m in cash.

BrightRoll powers digital video advertising for the world’s largest brands, including 87 of the top 100 US advertisers and 18 of the top 20 advertising technology companies.

“Video, along with mobile, social, and native, is driving a surge in digital advertising. Here at Yahoo!, video is one of the largest growth opportunities, and BrightRoll is a terrific, strategic and financially compelling fit for our video-advertising business,” said Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! CEO.

However, reports have surfaced about unhappy Yahoo! stakeholders, concerned with the direction in which Mayer is taking the company.

Business Insider reported on several Yahoo! ad-tech people who feel the purchase was either not needed, or heavily over-valued, with cheaper alternatives out there on the market.

Elsewhere, Reuters reported today that at least two top 10 Yahoo! shareholders “are so unhappy with chief executive Marissa Mayer’s turnaround efforts that they are making a direct plea to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong to explore a merger and run the combined company”.

Only last month a US$6.3bn gain from the sale of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd shares placed Yahoo!’s third-quarter profit at US$6.77bn, up from US$297m in the year-ago quarter.

Strong growth in Yahoo!’s new areas of investment – mobile, social, native and video – gave the company a 1pc lift in third-quarter revenue to US$1.09bn, up from US$1.08bn in the same period last year.

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com