Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Embattled Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer
The word this morning is that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer overslept and missed the bulk of a key advertising meeting in Cannes. 
Some of the chatter on social media suggests that if this is true, she should get a pass. Um, not necessarily. In Yahoo's position, with its flat revenue and its need to sell a new digital magazine strategy, this would be the equivalent of oversleeping for a key job interview. After the Henrique de Castro debacle, Mayer needs to show she's personally plugged into the needs of the ad community. It doesn't help that she has a storied history of making people wait. Now, there's the important question of whether a male CEO would get the same scrutiny. Frankly, I think he would. De Castro caught similar heat when he seemed unprepared for ad industry gatherings. And Steve Jobs, though he could be mercurial, was a master schmoozer when he needed to convince a partner to do what he wanted.
Reference: Tech Buzz @ CNBC pre-Squawk Alley: Mayer, Rascoff & Micron

CNBC Technology Editor John Fortt posted an article on LinkedIn, and I weighed in:

Maybe Mayer was not feeling well. Nevertheless, I would have simply but sincerely apologized for being late, left it at that, and kept focused on the people and business at hand. Obviously her absence was an issue, but her presence was all that mattered, upon arrival. I very much agree with Joe Shanahan about not crucifying Mayer: She's only human, and she's not the only top executive who's ever been late for a meeting.

Shanahan remarked:
Let's not crucify Marissa for oversleeping- there was an article on here not 4 months ago stating how she was sleeping 4 hours a night. She needs to delegate a few more big tasks to who she deems fit. Humans were meant to sleep 8 hours a night, be well-hydrated, and operate on high carb diets. I feel quite badly for her- and I wish more people would understand this is the key to a productive, clear mind. 

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