Shortly after Yahoo’s acquisition went public, Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive officer, has faced criticisms over her tenure, in what she considers to be a “gender-charged” reporting.
According to her interview with the Financial Times.:
“I’ve tried to be gender-blind and believe tech is a gender-neutral zone but do think there has been gender-charged reporting,” she said. “We all see the things that only plague women leaders, like articles that focus on their appearance, like Hillary Clinton sporting a new pantsuit. I think all women are aware of that, but I had hoped in 2015 and 2016 that I would see fewer articles like that. It’s a shame.”
In case you are wondering what articles she was talking about, Fortune cited 3 articles.
Fortune‘s Dan Primack wrote that Mayer’s big mistake was that she “mainly focused on mobilizing existing product and continuing the media focus via things like digital magazine launches,” but that ultimately Yahoo’s demise was “a 3-alarm fire that Mayer failed to put out, rather than one she started.”
The Street‘s Jim Kramer blamed Mayers’ leadership style, saying that in his opinion, “she was not inspirational to people.”
Bloomberg‘s Brad Stone made the case that Yahoo was a sinking ship from the get-go and that its founders were largely to blame. By the time Mayer took on the top job, the “mistakes of the past loomed too large. Perhaps there was a short window of opportunity for Mayer to bet the company on a bold acquisition or a new product, but it closed fast.”
This is someone who was also criticized for taking less than a month leave and working in her hospital bed after having her twin babies.
I am not trying to be a feminist here, but the question is this, would a man in a similar situation be judged as harsly?? Before you say yes, I’d like you to think about 2 male CEOs, Twitter’s ex-CEO Dick Costolo (Who didn’t take a reputation hit after leaving the social media company behind), the new CEO Jark Dorsey (Who still hasn’t found a way to rescue the company, but isn’t personally criticized).