Yahoo’s new chief executive officer started worked last week. Fifth time’s a charm, right?
The once-dominant, now-struggling online portal’s not had the best of luck lately righting its listing bulkhead. Course, it doesn’t help when you go through chief executives like fry cooks. (I mean, do the board members at Yahoo even bother calling references? They make John McCain’s vetting team look thorough).
At any rate, Yahoo appears to have (finally) gotten on the right track: They managed to nab executive Marissa Mayer from search engine rival Google. The Street loved the pick, according to most news accounts and the company’s stock price. The 37-year-old former engineer has been one of the few public faces of Google over the last decade and she’s a no-brainer if there ever was one. (Not that Yahoo’s had many no-brainers lately).
By most accounts, it’s a solid – if not a downright winning – pick. But it might just be too little, too late. But if anybody can turn around this dinosaur of a tech/media company, it’s Mayer, who has the tech know-how and charisma to impose her will to turn things around. Either way, it’s an exciting pick.
But even after all of that, today’s rant isn’t really about any of that. See, the only thing I left out is that Mayer also happens to be about six months pregnant. She’s due less than three months after taking the job. In fact, one online news site (unnamed on purpose) ran the headline “First-ever pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 tech company?”
The fact that this was news – or even the headline – is troubling at best and outright offensive at worst. If she had been Mike Mayer instead of Marissa, would this even make the story – let alone lead it? What decade did I wake up in?
How is this even possible in an era where the list of things I can’t ask a job candidate is starting to run longer than the approved set of questions? (Not that I’m very good at paying attention to either – just ask my last candidate.)
I might love Mad Men, jazz music and the idea of a liquor cabinet in my office, but that doesn’t mean I want to work in a world where one’s family planning has to be listed on your resume.