Better lucky than good

best ceos marissa mayer

Yahoo shares have outperformed their key rival Google. But CEO Marissa Mayer may not deserve all the credit for that.

The big reason why Yahoo (YHOO) is up 25% is because Yahoo cashed in on part of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA).

Who is Marissa Mayer?

Mayer has promised to return some of the Alibaba IPO proceeds to shareholders through stock buybacks. So kudos for that.

But the decision to buy a stake in Alibaba to begin with? That was former CEO Terry Semel and co-founder Jerry Yang. In 2005. While Mayer was working for Google (GOOGL).

First published December 23, 2014: 6:14 AM ET

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