Marissa Mayer Pretends “MaVeNS” Isn’t A Silly Acronym, Says It Represents Yahoo’s Future

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been talking for a while now about how mobile, video, native advertising, and social are the company’s key growth areas. Now she’s come up with an interesting way to refer to them — MaVeNS.

I don’t know how you feel, but personally, I’m not convinced that it’s, um, the best acronym ever. I mean, the unusual capitalization is certainly, hmmmm, bold, as is using “Ma” to stand for mobile and “Ve” for video. I admit that “mobvins” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but I guess I’d be more impressed if all those contortions had resulted in a better word.

Nonetheless, Mayer soldiered on with her attempt to make MaVeNS a thing, repeatedly using the acronym during today’s fourth quarter earnings call with analysts. For example, when discussing the 4 percent decline in display ad revenue, she said that “the strong growth in our MaVeNS business” will eventually offset the loss in traditional display, later adding, “The MaVeNS businesses are not cannibalistic to traditional PC advertising.”

Mayer also claimed that if MaVeNS were broken out from Yahoo’s other businesses, they would be “one of the fastest-growing startups in the world.” The earnings report, thankfully, doesn’t call them MaVeNS, but it says that mobile, video, native, and social are Yahoo’s “Transformative Investments” and accounted for $380 million in GAAP revenue during the most recent quarter, as well as $1.1 billion for all of 2014. (GAAP search revenue for the fourth quarter was $467 million and display revenue was $532 million.)

So there you have it. When Mayer said that she’s working to “return an iconic company to greatness,” she’s talking about MaVeNS.

(By the way, there’s a maven in Yahoo’s past, too — Maven Networks, an ad company that Yahoo acquired in 2008, before shuttering the product a year later.)