Friday, March 15, 2013

Marissa Mayer Can Make Me "Say Anything"



Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg suggested that critics jumped on her friend Marissa Mayer's decision for ordering stay-at-home employees back to the office because she is a woman. The press has been careful not to mention the Yahoo! CEO's fetching good looks, charm, raspy (dare I say sexy) voice and appeal as so not to appear sexist. When Mayer implied that motherhood was easy, she drew the ire of working Moms across the country. The double standard continues, but beauty aside, it's a difficult, fine line to walk for female executives — in high heels or otherwise.

Now, according to a new article, Mayer is being maligned for her tough (and perhaps unrealistically high) hiring practices - causing Yahoo! to lose top talent. This one comes from within the company. According to an unnamed Yahoo employee, Mayer addressed the charges at a meeting, retorting "Why can't we just be good at hiring?" playing off the line "Why can't you be in a good mood?" from what she called one of her favorite movies, 1989's "Say Anything."

I will readily admit that if Marissa Mayer were single and unattached, I would be on the next jet to Silicon Valley to woo her like I was Yahoo's board with Apple's money. This has nothing to do with who Mayer is and what she does for a living, by the way. Forget Samsung's new iPhone killer.  For me, Yahoo's CEO is the true Galaxy S4 - Smart, Successful, Strong, and Smokin'.

If circumstances were different, I'd stand outside her office window, hold a boom box over my head, and pop in a cassette of "In Your Eyes" — because I roll 80's style. Strike that. I'd probably mess up her name and call her "Melissa Meyer." Maybe instead I'd hire John Cusack to play me and have Peter Gabriel play live. (Hey, I spare no expense when it's a fantasy). But my "what If" fantasy lost steam this week, as I realized that if Mayer's this hard on employees I doubt I would have cut the mustard in her discerning blue eyes.

Mayer insists on personally reviewing every new recruit with a focus on academic credentials, whereas I graduated from "Not Harvard" University with a degree in "By the Skin of My Teeth." And I'm not sure how a tall, 50-something Italian from a working class family would go over with her Ivy League friends and traditional Midwestern family.

But by all accounts though, Mayer is happily married and I've got as much chance of winning her heart as Microsoft's Surface tablet with Windows 8 does of displacing the iPad as the top tablet. But there I go again, letting my imagination run away with me again. I suppose it's a caveat of my working from home.

Article first published as Marissa Mayer Can Make Me "Say Anything" on Technorati.