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Tech Startups Long for the Days of Yahoo’s Binge Acquisitions

Under Marissa Mayer, Yahoo used to be the top company making “acqui-hires,” but such talent acquisitions have fallen out of favor throughout Silicon Valley this year.
Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) 2011
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Chalk up another casualty of Yahoo's failure to grow: the acqui-hire. As Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer reverses part of her turnaround plan, Silicon Valley is sorely missing her old habit of making frequent, small acquisitions.

In 2013 and 2014, Yahoo was the top technology company conducting acqui-hires, an industry term for acquisitions done primarily for the talent, according to research firm CB Insights. Yahoo was tied for third in 2012, Mayer's first year at the company. In 2015, Yahoo has disappeared from the list entirely.