Usually, when a new CEO is appointed to a company as high profile as Yahoo the conversation would focus on the individual’s business acumen, how they have added value to their previous company and how they will add value to the new one.
When Marissa Mayer was recently poached by Yahoo from Google after a highly-successful career there, the whole conversation seemed to centre around the fact that she is pregnant.
“If she succeeds, it will be a landmark case for women everywhere,” Kevin Coyne, a management consultant who teaches business strategy, was quoted as saying in what was a fairly typical line of commentry.
“You don’t grow a human and turn around a company at the same time very easily,” said a senior women executive representing the “can women have it all?” other common line of commentry.
Marissa Mayer seems a pretty smart woman. She’ll work it out. No doubt with the input of her personal support network, not all those “experts” offering advice.
Possibly the smartest voice in the crowd commenting on her appointment was the male employee at Yahoo. He said that employees there were way more interested in whether she had the right “vision” for the company, one that would halt its current slide and put it back on top than anything else.
At the end of the day, that’s what is going to count.