Yahoo names Google executive Marissa Mayer as new CEO

Via Marissa Mayer

Yahoo made a major announcement yesterday, naming Google executive Marissa Mayer as their new president and CEO.  Mayer – Yahoo’s fifth CEO in as many years – is one of the most well known women in tech and business and the move came as a huge surprise even though she has a stellar reputation in Silicon Valley.

An even bigger surprise came later in the day with is Mayer’s announcement via Twitter that she is pregnant.  Mayer has already said her future maternity leave will be brief and it’s clear that such a demanding and high profile position for a woman may reignite the “Having It All,” conversations from a few weeks ago.  Mayer told Fortune that she plans to work from home throughout her maternity leave in order to ensure a smooth transition to her new company.

Mayer will be under intense scrutiny to be sure and that was before her announcement regarding her growing family. Obviously, we don’t yet live in a world where her being pregnant is irrelevant in terms of how her competence is perceived by the public and media, thus this bit of news will be viewed and made into a number of editorials over the next few weeks to be sure.

Mayer is wealthy and can afford plenty of help to juggle all of her responsibilities.  Her being able to afford domestic help to assist her with her familial responsibilities as her professional ones expand with her new role at Yahoo makes for an interesting framework considering a female tech CEO is seen as such progress.  Sadly, the predictable conversation about Mayer, her new job, and her pregnancy will surely illustrate how much further we have to go.

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  • Stella

    Affording domestic help is VERY important, but within the class of highly-paid professional 1%ers, another key factor is the role the partner plays. I’ve known plenty of women making 6 figure salaries who could afford round-the-clock nannies if they wanted them, but that still does not allow you to complete with a man who has a wife at home. It is extremely difficult to compete with someone who has a full-time support person to run their home lives for them, even if you and your partner split home responsibilities 50-50 and outsource many of themm.

    There is only so much you can delegate to paid help, no matter how wonderful. Based on my experience working on Wall Street, most highly successful men play zero role in their homes other than paying for it. So not only can they have a house and kids and do zero work to raise/maintain them, they also don’t need to attend to personal care matters like paying bills and ensuring the help is paid (for example).