Marissa Mayer

5 Reasons Why Mayer's Leadership Brings a New Culture at Yahoo

Today, Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's new CEO, announced two major changes to its employee policies:
  1. There will no longer be a "rest week" at the Holidays and
  2. There will be consequences if you're performing in the lower 20% of the company's internal rating system.
These are both good decisions for the company. Here's 5 reasons why:
  1. The company can't afford a "rest" period at all. It's in the midst of a major change to save its life. You don't take naps when you're doing life-saving measures.
  2. The Yahoo that Mayer is leading forgot what it takes to be successful - particularly in the tech sector. The key: You never stop acting like a start-up. Start-ups don't rest. They're too busy changing the world...and their code. 24/7/365.
  3. To succeed - no matter what the industry or sector - you have to be hungry. You have to want it. You have to be willing to sacrifice. There are no laurels to sit back on. The second you've stopped leaning forward, you're lost. So's your company.
  4. The 20% that aren't hungry don't belong in a company that is fighting for its life. Let them find other employers that aren't as concerned about complacency. They're out there. In fact, unfortunately, that's the majority of employers...which leads to the question: Are you accepting complacency in your enterprise?
  5. Because Mayer is using a like-system to Google's employee evaluation system - highly data-driven, measured, monitored and integrated by teams and functions while, ultimately, intrinsically motivated - Yahoo's employees have the opportunity to take their careers in hand...now...and make sure they're not part of that 20% to be culled. They've been given fair warning. Now it's on them.
Marissa Mayer knows what it takes to build and maintain a tech giant. After all, she was key to that occurring at Google. That's why the Yahoo Board tapped her for CEO.

Give the company a chance and watch what happens now. As long as she remains committed to the direction she's set, the culture at Yahoo is in for a big change...all for the good.

Marissa Mayer and the War on Women

There are two really popular lies about women being told today.  One is that there's no "war on women."  That all the Republican legislation that's being passed or attempted - by men - to inhibit women from living their lives the way they want...or just to be healthy...is a skewed view being perpetrated by the Democrats.

The other is that it's not because Marissa Mayer is a woman that she's getting all this attention - and insult - as the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo!  No.  From the wildly varying stories about her compensation package to that whole business about her pregnancy isn't because she's female.  It's because she's the CEO.

Hmmm.  Funny thing about both those lies.  First, they're just that: lies.  Second, they're both based on the same thing: inhibiting women from whatever form of self-determination and achievement they seek.

Most importantly, even within the legislative agenda, it's not just the men who are going after women.  It is - as usual - women, too.

I was appalled to read the comments made by a former female co-worker of Ms. Mayer's in a recent Business Insider article (written by a man) that was nothing less than an open season of personal shots.  The "source" wouldn't give her own name, of course, but she was happy to insult and demean Ms. Mayer in as many ways as she could (except about the pregnancy).

What was worse was that the things that she was complaining about would NEVER have come up were Ms. Mayer a man.  They were about her working style and power plays and management methods.  What they show is that she knows how to be a player.

So, whether you like those behaviors or not, they work.  Because the fact is, Google is, in great part, Google, because of Ms. Mayer's smarts and capability.

At least that's what everyone said right up until she became CEO of Yahoo!

For my part, I was actually proud of Yahoo's Board for selecting another woman after the Carol Bartz debacle.  It would have been very easy for them to have selected a man - simply by sheer numbers of candidates.

They didn't, though.  They chose the talent, perspective, commitment and smarts they wanted and know the company needs.

I'm all for Ms. Mayer's success - because I want Yahoo! to succeed.  And, based on the perspective of smart people like Marc Andreessen and Fred Wilson, Yahoo! is in a much better position to do so now than in years.

As for the anonymous "sources" and all the talk about "working maternity leave" and all the rest, let it go and get over it. Women and men bring their respective talents to everything they do.

For the smart people in the room, that's all that matters - and all that should.