Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayers Faces Major Role With a Baby on the Way
Mirissa Mayers, who was named President and CEO of the struggling Internet giant Yahoo, says she recently worked 90-hour weeks at Google, attending about 60 meetings a week. Now, her new role will include motherhood as she announced that she plans to work during her maternity leave, which will last several weeks.
The 37-year-old former Google Inc. executive is expecting her first child, a son, in early October reported the Wall Street Journal Wednesday.
While some believe that her new role at Yahoo will not be affected by her pregnancy, others express concern that it will be more complicated than Mayer and Yahoo have indicated.
“If she succeeds, it will be a landmark case for women everywhere,” said Kevin Coyne, a management consultant who teaches business strategy at Emory University. “Women will talk about her for decades,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
No Yahoo director expressed concern about her pregnancy, according to Ms. Mayer, who told the board in late June, about a week after Yahoo’s recruiter contacted her reported the Journal.
Pregnant women are not common among senior executives in the U.S.
“You don’t grow a human and turn around a company at the same time very easily,” said Julia Hartz to the Wall Street Journal. Hartz, 32, president of Eventbrite Inc., an online ticketing service in San Francisco said she recalls answering customer emails on her laptop right before delivering their first daughter. When she resumed emailing after delivery, hospital staff advised her to put the computer away and rest.
Mayer, who recently joined Wal-Mart Inc.’s board of directors, faces the challenge of boosting employee morale at Yahoo. Mayer will undoubtedly begin her role by ensuring that Ross Levinsohn, the interim CEO who was passed over for the top job stays on at Yahoo.
Gartner technology analyst Allen Weiner says investors will probably cut Mayer some slack during her first 100 days at the helm, but they won’t be forgiving if she commits a major blunder.
Wiener said Mayer’s appointment was unexpected, given her lack of experience in content and media – areas he feels are crucial to Yahoo’s growth.