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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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January 30th, 2014
06:58 PM ET

The rocky future of Yahoo!

(CNN) – Numbers released this week show Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is in trouble. Eighteen months into the job, and the company's suffering declining sales, and shown little progress winning any ground from mega tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

Is this the end of the line for Mayer? Fortune magazine's Jessi Hempel says that's the wrong question. The one to ask: What has she done right?

"She's really energized the place, she's totally turned around the culture. She has taken a group of folks who were bummed to come to work every day, and has given them reason to feel hopeful about what is going on. And she's created an innovation machine that seems to be working," said Hempel.

"The problem Marissa faces is, the business that she's in is the business is declining. Display ads are not what people are investing in right now.

"So even though things are going really well at Yahoo! it doesn't seem to matter because the business itself is shrinking. So then her challenge is to figure out a new business to move Yahoo! into and it's too early to say if she's going to be successful at that," said Hempel.

For more of our interview with Fortune Magazine's senior tech writer Jessi Hempel, check out the video above.

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