Free food! Marissa Mayer tries a bit of Google magic at Yahoo

Yahoo's new CEO is kicking off her new job with some of the tricks that seemed to work well during her tenure at Google.

Marissa Mayer James Martin/CNET

Many Yahoo employees may be worried about the future of the company, but at least they'll enjoy free meals in the meantime.

The company's new CEO Marissa Mayer is stirring the pot by offering a few of the perks and policies from her former employer.

As detailed by AllThingsD's Kara Swisher, Mayer kicked things off last Friday by holding the first in a series of weekly Friday afternoon meetings at the company's headquarters.

The first meeting got off to a good start, at least for employees, when Mayer announced that food in Yahoo's URLs Cafe in its Sunnyvale HQ would from now on be free. Many a Silicon Valley company offers free meals, but Yahoo had previously charged its workers for food in a bid to keep down costs.

Also in the works are changes to the layout of the the Yahoo buildings and individual employee work areas to make them more "collaborative and cool," according to Swisher. And people will have a chance to buy more Yahoo-branded products in the company store.

In spite of the company's attempts to lower costs, Mayer undoubtedly sees the new moves as necessary toward boosting employee morale. But in return for the free food and more user-friendly work spaces, the new CEO is expecting something in return.

Sources told Swisher that Mayer is pushing "product innovation" as the way to save Yahoo.

In short, she's looking for improvements in every product the company currently offers, from e-mail to search to ad hosting. The sources also expect Yahoo to announce a new product or technology deal in the upcoming days as a sign that the company is refocusing its direction.

"This is the sound of Yahoo becoming a technology company again," one source told Swisher. "It will be all about platforms and products."

Yahoo has been like a rudderless ship for the past several years with no clear course. One of Mayer's many challenges will be to focus the company in a bid to get it back on track.

CNET contacted Yahoo for comment and will update the story when we get more information.

 

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