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Marissa Mayer: Does New Yahoo CEO and Mom-to-Be Have it All?

Yahoo’s decision to hire Marissa Mayer, a high-ranking Google employee who is also pregnant, came as a surprise to the tech industry but stands to increase women’s profile in the workplace. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Following on the heels of a national discussion about whether women can “have it all,” i.e. a professional career and a well-rounded family, Yahoo has hired Marissa Mayer, a high-ranking Google employee, to be the company’s CEO. Mrs. Mayer is also pregnant. “None of the Yahoo directors, she says, revealed any concern about hiring a pregnant chief executive. ‘They showed their evolved thinking,’ says Mayer, who got the phone call last Thursday that she was the board’s choice to be CEO.” Yahoo’s decision surprised many in the tech industry, who regard the move as a conscious effort to build a product-centered company (Mayer oversaw Google Maps and Google Earth) rather than a content or service-based business. 

What’s the Big Idea?

It would seem that Mrs. Mayer is set to have it all. Already, the signs are encouraging that Yahoo is ready to work to accommodate Mayer, whose desire to have a family would have been considered too large a liability in an earlier era. “As for maternity leave, Mayer, who recently joined the board of Walmart, expects it to be speedy. ‘I like to stay in the rhythm of things,’ she says, referring to the CEO job that she is starting tomorrow. ‘My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.'” Yahoo’s decision is hopefully a sign that companies will accommodate mothers on all levels of the corporate hierarchy. 

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