As everyone paying any kind of attention to the tech world knows, Marissa Mayer is in an unenviable position right now, to say the least. While doing her best to stay at the helm of a company she has helped turn around (at least when it comes to stock price), her shareholders are openly calling for her head.
There is at least one person still out there still on her side, though: David Karp, the founder and CEO of short-form blogging platform Tumblr.
Yahoo, as you may recall, announced Purchased that it was purchasing the company nearly two years ago for $1.1 billion. In an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday, Karp was unequivocal in his support of Mayer.
Talking to Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang, who asked him how optimistic he was about Yahoo's future, Karp enthusiastically voiced his support for his current boss.
"I hope we can be a part of it. I’m excited to be a part of it. Look, I believe in Marissa tremendously, I think she’s built an extraordinary team. And I'm very excited about a lot of the stuff that they're doing on their own and a lot of the stuff that we're doing with them. I'm very hopeful and I'm very excited to be a shareholder," he said, while claiming that he has "amazing support and an amazing mentor in Marissa"
Plus, he noted, there are just something that the platform can do now that it simply would not be able to without Yahoo's resources.
"The first big one came about six months in. We launched our Tumblr ad products in our native Tumblr sponsored posts, now powered by Yahoo ad tech. Which was actually a really, really big deal. But all of the sudden we could go out to the market with really, really robust ad technology, with this incredibly expressive canvas that we'd been working on for the last seven years," said Karp.
"Those two things together were a pretty monster combination for this ad industry that suddenly gets to benefit from all the work we'd been doing and all the real ad tech that Yahoo had been putting together."
One of the biggest criticisms of Mayer has been her acquisition strategy. Many have gone after the company's spending spree under her leadership, in which it bought up a slew of startups, including 27 last in 2013 alone. Tumblr happens to be the most expensive acquisition of all, and has been used as a weapon against Mayer, with critics lambasting her for buying a company that they said was not profitable, nor growing.
Karp denied that either of those things was true, and spoke of the deeper connection he believes exists between Yahoo and Tumblr.
"We were, and are, growing very fast so if she wanted to go out and buy a profitable company, at the time of acquisition there were, and still are, plenty to choose from. She saw a real path forward and something that she thought could not just be a really, really big business, but a business with a lot of alignment with Yahoo. And we're a year in, we're starting to prove that and we're about to have a lot to brag about very soon."
While Karp did not take the opportunity to blast his current boss (and did anyone really expect him to?), he did come out swinging against one of Tumblr's competitors: Evan William's blogging platform Medium.
"They've done a lot of stuff that nobody was really doing yet. At the same time, they're kind of on the other side of a fight that I feel like we've been fighting for a long time which is giving people more identity, letting people create something that's really theirs," he said.
"One of the things that drives me totally bonkers about Medium is that they strip all the identity away and try to make it a really commoditized network with lots of long articles from various people, rather than a place where I can set up and have my blog, my space, my place on the Intern. but, look, they're doing some really cool stuff with long form text."