In an interview with US fashion magazine Vogue, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer opens up about her controversial decision to ban working from home, and talks about her own career success: “I’m just geeky and shy and like to code.”
The article titled Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer: Hail to the Chief in Vogue’s September issue, is accompanied by a photo of Mayer taken by Mikael Jansson. It features the 38-year-old lying on a chaise lounge, in a blue dress and heels, with one arm bent up, casually clutching a tablet.
Not so casual has been the reaction to Mayer’s decision earlier this year to put the kibosh on employees working from home.
Mayer told writer Jacob Weisberg that she never intended for the decision to be a larger statement about society but about what is right for Yahoo!, a sentiment the company has expressed since news of the decision first became public via a leaked email to the press.
In the Vogue profile, Mayer pointed out changes that indicate the decision to end working from home has been the right decision.
Mayer said teams are happier now that remote workers don’t have to participate in meetings via teleconferences, messages on the company’s informal forum have turned positive, and employees have “stopped leaking my emails” to the media.
Leaked emails and criticism surrounding decisions about what’s best for staff are hazards that come with the job of being CEO, a role Mayer said she didn’t set out to achieve.
“I’m just geeky and shy and I like to code,” Mayer said.
She also revealed that Eric Schmidt, when he was CEO of Google and Mayer’s superior at the internet search giant, told her that moving on from being an individual contributor to managing a team is the way to make an impact that’s bigger than yourself.
“And I was like, oh, right, it would be nice to have an impact that’s bigger than just me,” Mayer said. “It’s not like I had a grand plan where I weighed all the pros and cons of what I wanted to do – it just sort of happened.”
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