09/11/2013 08:08 pm ET Updated Sep 12, 2013

Marissa Mayer Defends Yahoo Logo

SAN FRANCISCO -- Marissa Mayer is standing by the new -- and much maligned -- Yahoo logo that was unveiled last week.

Speaking onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF, the San Francisco technology conference that ends on Wednesday, Yahoo's CEO said that she "like[s] the way the logo turned out, and I like the way we did it."

"To me, we really pride ourselves at Yahoo as being the world's largest startup," she continued. "We're a big and established company. We need to be really entrepreneurial and our attitude is to be really scrappy, and the way that we did the logo -- we kept it in-house, we didn't have someone, you know, as an external firm or consulting firm, we didn't spend millions of dollars doing it. We did it in a way that came from a very authentic place"

Mayer's answer was in response to a question from Michael Arrington, the founder and former co-editor of TechCrunch, who asked a rather blunt question about the new branding: "What the f*ck happened here?"

After the crowd of journalists, entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley insiders stopped laughing, and Mayer said she liked the redesign, the 38-year-old CEO shifted the focus from the logo to Yahoo's products, many of which have been redesigned in the 14 months she's been in charge.

"For us, what the brand is really about is the products," she said. "We're happy with the logo, but for us the focus is really on the product."

Arrington followed up by asking Mayer how long it would be until Yahoo changed the logo, and Mayer replied that they'll make small changes over time.

Mayer also said that 87 percent of Yahoo employees didn't like the old logo. She was hearing from customers that while they loved the newly redesigned products, the old logo looked "clunky," Mayer said.

Mayer came on as CEO last summer and has overseen the redesign of many of the company's products, including its homepage, weather app and Flickr. She has also made a number of high-profile acquisitions, including Tumblr and Summly.

The logo that Yahoo unveiled last week is the first redesign in 18 years. Max Ma, an intern on the design team who worked on the new logo, posted an alternate version on his website, and many thought it would have made a better choice than the one Yahoo settled on.

TechCrunch is owned by AOL, which also owns The Huffington Post.



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