Marissa Mayer's Yahoo Keynote: Web, Apps, Celebs and Shots at GoogleJanuary 7, 2014 By Stephen Silver
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's first-ever keynote address at International CES Tuesday was mostly about mobile apps, content, and illustrating the different ways the software and Internet company interfaces with the consumer electronics world.
The high-profile Mayer, the first female CES keynoter in several years, began by speaking about how the company's future (and present) are in the mobile sphere. Yahoo, Mayer said, is now about "making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining."
A big part of this, she said, is content. Mayer first welcomed news mainstay Katie Couric, who will soon launch a new online talk show through Yahoo.
Next on stage was Nick D'Aloiso, the teenage founder of news aggregation firm Summly, which was acquired last year by Yahoo. D'aloiso announced Yahoo News Digest, a new twice-daily news product which "eliminates the problem with information overload and 'too long didn't read." The news is "algorithmically produced [and] editorially curated."
Speaking of content, Mayer also introduced David Pogue, the longtime New York Times technology columnist who left the paper last year for Yahoo. In an animated, caffeinated performance, Pogue took shots at most of the big names of the tech press- calling The Verge "The Urge" for some reason- before announcing the launch of new Yahoo Tech site. He then pressed a button on a smartphone to take the site live.
After Mayer touted Yahoo's hosting of archived "Saturday Night Live" content, SNL cast members Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson (dressed as Al Sharpton) took the stage and did a mini-Weekend Update filled with tech-industry jokes- mostly at the expense of Google and other Yahoo rivals- that didn't go over especially well with the crowd.
David Carp, founder of Yahoo acquisition Tumblr, also appeared on stage to discuss the blogging platform's new native advertising capabilities.
Finally, John Legend took the stage to sing three songs, including a version of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," accompanying himself on piano.