Yahoo employees already excited by the arrival of new CEO Marissa Mayer have been pushed into paroxysms of bliss to find her, like any normal employee, getting her own lunch in Yahoo’s cafeteria.These sightings have “delighted more employees than you might imagine,” reports Kara Swisher.
Here’s why: It’s a clear sign to beleaguered Yahoos that Mayer is a different kind of CEO than the ones Yahoo has had in its recent past.
Specifically, it’s a reminder that Mayer comes from the world of startups.
Remember, Mayer is only 37, and the last company she joined, Google, she joined as it twentieth employee.
Yahoos seem to be thrilled to have a startup CEO for two reasons.
- This background makes her different than recent Yahoo CEOs and interim CEOs Ross Levinsohn, Scott Thompson, Tim Morse, Carol Bartz, and Terry Semel who have all spent most of their career in big companies like News Corp, Visa, Warner and Autodesk. At this point, change is good.
- She makes Yahoo feel like it is a part of Silicon Valley again. Having a startup-y CEO makes Yahoo more like Google or Facebook, which are run by geek founders who may be worth billions more than their co-workers, but don’t always act like it. Facebook’s top engineer in New York recently complimented his boss, Mark Zuckerberg, by saying: “He has the same desk setup as everyone else.”
How thrilled are Yahoos?”I think we have a ballgame now! It’s amazing how fast the sentiment changed internally,” one employee told Swisher.
“Everyone [is] ELATED. People I know that were close to leaving (including myself) are now giving it another shot.”
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