Yahoo employees are less desperate to leave since Marissa Mayer arrived

Come, stay a while.
Come, stay a while.
Image: Reuters/Robert Galbraith
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In its most recent annual report, Yahoo announced that it had seen an incredible 340,000 job applications in 2013, double the previous year.

Now there’s evidence that the internet company has reduced the massive brain drain that it suffered during its years in the doldrums as well.

After Marissa Mayer’s appointment as Yahoo CEO in 2012, outbound applications by Yahoo employees to smaller tech startups dropped by 44%, according to data from recruiting software provider Jobvite. And relative to the pre-Mayer era in 2012, overall outbound applications are down by a full 50%.

The data aren’t comprehensive. They measure the number of Yahoo employees that have applied to companies that use Jobvite’s software. Jobvite didn’t disclose what specific client companies Yahoo employees have applied to, but companies that use the software include Twitter, Square, and Yelp.

The overall direction of the data does seem to support what the company’s CFO Ken Goldman said about the company’s ability to attract and retain talent, that more people want to come and stay at the company.Through some combination of its change in leadership, aggressive acquisition of startups, cultural change, and high compensation, Yahoo appears to have changed the way applicants and employees think about it.

Yahoo’s rising share price—up about 37% over the past year—is likely also contributing to staff loyalty, especially for employees compensated with stock options. (That exceptional performance of Yahoo’s stock since Mayer took over has a lot more to do with its investments in China internet giant Alibaba and Yahoo Japan than the company’s core business, which investors don’t seem to value very much.)

According to Jobvite, Apple employees have looked for jobs elsewhere at a 63% higher rate during Tim Cook’s tenure versus that of Steve Jobs. (Apple wasn’t immediately available to comment on that.)