There is no one else in the world like Marissa Mayer:
Now 38 years old, she is a wife, a mother, an engineer, and the CEO of a 30-billion-dollar company. She is a woman in an industry dominated by men. In a world where corporations are expected to serve shareholders before anyone else, she is obsessed with putting the customer experience first.
Worth at least $300 million, she isn’t afraid to show off her wealth. Steve Jobs may have lived in a small, suburban home with an apple tree out front, but Marissa Mayer lives in the penthouse of San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel.
While rival CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Google wear flip-flops, hoodies, and T-shirts, Mayer wears Oscar De La Renta on the red carpet.
Mayer calls herself a geek, but she doesn’t look the part. With her blonde hair, blue eyes, and glamorous style, she has Hollywood-actress good looks.
Young, powerful, rich, and brilliant, Mayer is a role model for millions of women. And yet, unlike Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, Mayer resists calling herself a feminist. She even infuriated working mothers across the world when she banned Yahoo employees from working from home.
Widely admired by the public at large, Mayer has many enemies within her industry. They say she is robotic, stuck up, and absurd in her obsession with detail. They say her obsession with the user experience masks a disdain for the money-making side of the technology industry.
There is some truth to what they say.
And yet, a year after Mayer took over Yahoo, the company’s stock price was up 100 percent. Engineers wanted to work for Yahoo again. More importantly, so did sought-after startup CEOs like Tumblr founder David Karp, who agreed to sell his company to Yahoo for $1.1 billion.