From the looks of it, Yahoo sure knows how to throw a party. But the beleaguered search company is facing criticism for a lavish holiday celebration in San Francisco this month.
Activist investor Eric Jackson, managing director of SpringOwl Asset Management, pointed to the Great Gatsby-themed party at Pier 48 as yet another example of excessive spending by the troubled company. He estimated the party cost $7 million, citing “confidential sources.” (Motherboard, however, reports that the event cost “less than a third of that.”) Jackson is calling for prudence at Yahoo to turn around its core business, including wide layoffs, elimination of extravagant perks, and a new CEO.
Photos posted to social media do suggest it was an impressive bash, with the roaring ’20s theme a nod to Yahoo’s 20th birthday this year. There was plenty of booze, performers—some on stilts, some hanging from the ceiling, some performing magic tricks—and photo opportunities with CEO Marissa Mayer.
According to one guest, attendees lined up to take photos with the very pregnant CEO, who was seated in front of a camera behind velvet ropes. She gave birth to twins the following week.
Yahoo’s stock is down more than 30% from January.