Taking the reigns of Yahoo! can’t be an easy choice for any candidate — the struggling Silicon Valley giant has churned through seven bosses since 1995 in its effort to revamp a onetime search and email behemoth into a more nimble company that can get over being shouldered out by Google and evolve into something new.
No better person for this role, perhaps, than Marissa Mayer, Google’s former vice president of Location and Local Services, and employee #20.
We had Marissa on the show in May, discussing everything from personal theories on success in the fast-moving tech world to the dearth of women in high-ranking tech positions.
With only a few women having held top jobs at major tech companies — Meg Whitman (Hewlett-Packard), Carol Bartz (Yahoo!), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO), Virginia Rometty (IBM) — Marissa’s appointment is significant for balancing out the CEO gender scales. Here’s a clip of her explaining this issue.
But for a company like Yahoo!, which has admittedly made a number of critical strategy blunders over the past decade, perhaps Marissa’s great strength — as Google’s first female engineer — is her stance on embracing an ideology of risk-taking, with the caveat that you recognize mistakes fast and learn from them fast. Here she is on embracing failure.