Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is the “it” business leader of the moment.
Mayer recently sat down with Vogue Magazine’s Jacob Weisberg, where she detailed what it’s like being a young female leader of a major tech company. Weisberg not only gives us a glimpse into Mayer’s work life, but also an interesting peek into her personal life.
Mayer, a self-described “geek,” actually seems more human than we thought. Despite the fact that she is incredibly wealthy and has a ton of resources she comes off as humble, grateful, and even a bit naive.
We sifted through the 3,000-word article and pulled out 10 interesting facts about Yahoo’s popular CEO.
- Mayer really likes numbers. Weisberg writes that, “Mayer talks about numbers as if they were people, she refers casually to x- and y-axes, and drops terms like stochastic factor.”Mayer, a nerd at heart tells Vogue when she turned 37 she put on a strong face, but she was not looking forward to 37. She says, “37 turned out to be a pretty amazing year. Especially considering that 36 is divisible by twelve!”
- Mayer is a fan of high fashion. In fact, she has a Oscar de la Renta cashmere cardigan collection; it’s her work uniform. She has the sweater in ivory, navy, black, hot pink, teal, red, and royal blue. Mayer adds new colours every season. The sweater retails for about $US900.
- Mayer suffers from shyness. She tells Vogue, “she has had to discipline herself to deal with the shyness.” Whenever Mayer arrives at a party, for the first fifteen minutes she wants to leave. This includes parties at her own home. Mayer says, “I will literally look at my watch and say, ‘You can’t leave until time x.'” Over the years Mayer has learned that if she makes herself stay at a party for a fixed period, she often gets over her social awkwardness and ends up having fun.
- Mayer is a fan of the “Irish Exit.” Weisberg was attending a party at Mayer’s home and he noticed that the other party guests noticed that Mayer had vanished. She tells Weisberg this is called her “CEO exit.” Mayer typically disappears without goodbyes while the party carries on.
- Mayer’s love of science comes from her father. Mayer’s father was an environmental engineer who worked for water companies.
- Mayer is a multitasker by design. Mayer says that growing up she always had multiple after-school activities such as ballet, ice skating, piano, swimming, debate team, and Brownie scouts. She says her mum set out to overstimulate her.
- Mayer has a hard time seeing gender. As employee number 20 at Google, Mayer was often asked how it felt to be the only woman on engineering teams. Weisberg says Mayer would answer truthfully: that she hadn’t noticed.
- Mayer is naive. Mayer’s naivety is self-described. Weisberg writes that this naivety, “only fuels the fascination surrounding her fourteen-year rise. Did she pile up a reported $US300 million in wealth and become a CEO of one of the world’s top digital brands by accident?” Mayer says she didn’t set out to be at the top of technology companies. She insists that she’s just a geek who likes to code.
- Mayer has made history. Weisberg says she helped to invent arguably one of the most successful products in the history of advertising, Google AdWords.
- Mayer is a perfectionist. A former Google colleague told Weisberg that Mayer will “spot a lot of little details other people might not notice.” The colleague continued, “when you add them up in aggregate, it’s the difference between a beautiful, polished product and one that feels more awkward.”