Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was criticised for her presentation last week at the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which is an ad industry get together.
Her presentation to the advertising community was panned for being too canned and inauthentic.
After we wrote about her presentation, a tipster who attended Cannes emailed us with more on Mayer’s performance. This tipster asked to remain anonymous.
Here’s what our tipster told us:
First, she bombed at the Palais as she basically read her entire presentation from teleprompter screens. Was stiff, forced and it showed as she tried to pander to the crowd.
Then she went to WPP’s Stream conference, where she was grilled by Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP. After giving another canned presentation, Sorrell hammered her. First he asked her what it would take for her to return an email. When she responded she returns every email, he stated that she hadn’t returned his, that Sheryl Sandberg returns his instantly and should he take it personally that she doesnt. Then he asked her what her relationship with Dan Loeb was. When she responded “very good,” Sorrell chimed in, “That’s not what Dan tells me.” This is front of every key WPP executive and many of her peers.
But she saved the best for last. That night, Yahoo had scheduled a very intimate dinner with the giant ad agency IPG. It included every top exec at IPG and at Yahoo. Mayer insisted the dinner be at 8:30 sharp. Everyone rearranged busy schedules including IPG CEO Michael Roth. Mayer ends up standing the group up and shows 90 minutes late. Roth was leaving as she walked in. Her excuse…”I’m sorry, I fell asleep,” to which Roth continued walking.
We’ve been trying to confirm this story by reaching out to the major ad agencies. We’ve also reached out to Yahoo. We haven’t heard back.
This is just one source, so treat it with a grain of salt, and be sceptical.
However, Suzanne Vranica The Wall Street Journal offers a similar story, which seems to corroborate our source. Vranica reports that Mayer was late for a meeting and told people she had fallen asleep.