Monday, July 23, 2012

An Open Letter To Marissa Mayer

Dear Ms. Mayer:
Where to even begin? Well, obviously a congratulations is in order. After all, you're kind of a pretty big deal at Yahoo now. The head honcho. The big cheese. The boss man...or should I say woman?

Yes, boss woman sounds exactly right. It rings true, actually. Exactly true. You can now add CEO of Yahoo to your ever-impressive resume. It's a position you're jumping head-first into, with the same gumption and conviction that made you a force to be reckoned with during your tenure with Google.

"I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the Internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users," you said in a statement last week. "I look forward to working with the Company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world.”

You're the Mary Tyler Moore for a whole new generation. The way I see it, your appointment as the new CEO of Yahoo signals a victory for women -- and girl power! -- everywhere. Here you are cracking that glass ceiling and showing young girls that math, computers, engineering, science and business isn't just for men. You're showing them that they shouldn't shoot for anything less than the stars. After all, you've had a pretty impressive career thus far: Google's first woman engineer where you helped design the look-and-feel of the homepage. You also launched more than 100 well-known features and products during your 13-years at Google. You've invested money in a handful of start ups.

And as a child? You attended science camp, naturally. How cool is that?
But one thing does trouble me, though: All the controversy surrounding the fact that you're pregnant. My mom -- who's a pretty liberal lady -- even made the comment a few days ago that perhaps you shouldn't have taken the job since you were pregnant. Now, of course, I have to wonder: Would people be saying the same thing if you were, well, a man who took the job and your wife was pregnant? I don't think so.

The bottom line: It's a great day for women. And it's a great time to be a young woman and know that some of the obstacles our parents and grandparents faced are no longer in our way. Thank you for being such a huge part of that. Thank you for being such a positive, driving influence where it matters most. And thank you for being such an inspiration to women everywhere. Because, really, all it takes at the end of the day is one person -- one woman -- to start a revolution. And before you know it, just like pebbles thrown into a pond, hundreds of tiny ripples are sent out. Isn't that an amazing thing?

I look forward to watching you tackle this new position with gusto and determination. xoxo

P.S. More girl crushes...


  1. Very well done Melissa, thank you.

    I am part of the 'cusp' generation, born near the end of the baby boom...I remember having to wear dresses to public school, my grandfather being afraid of allowing me to help with the haying because it might mess up my 'woman parts', and women having to have a man to co-sign loans for them, etc... I also recall my mother buying me books about women who made great achievements, and the strides women have made.

    I'm so glad to see women continuing to live to their full potential, striving to attain their dreams and hope to see, one day, that phrases like "it's a man's world" or "women's work" crumble into obscurity as we treasure having a human world.

  2. Well said and what a great, women empowering post, I love it! I look forward to seeing how she does as well, and, love how you named her a Mary Tyler Moore of our generation...perfect! :)

  3. Seriously such an accomplished life and it is so encouraging to women everywhere to follow a lead. How far we have come as women in the last 50 years! xoxo

  4. I'm excited for her too. She's just one of those super smart and confident women. Like Hilary Clinton.

  5. Mel,

    Mayer is hardly the first female executive. And she won't be Yahoo's last CEO. They've been through 4 in less than 4 years. The entire board (even Pete Ligouri) wishes Yang would have merged with Microsoft. The smart money says that Mayer will revive talks with Alibaba. I think she was just brought in to broker the deal and see it through. But it's going to be a lot less than the $47.5 billion Microsoft was offering. Also, I have to concur with your mother. A pregnant CEO is a liability. The CEO is the top spot. Without the CEO at the helm, all you have is a rudderless ship. She must have assured the board that she'll be back at work soon after delivery.

  6. While Anon may have some valid points, it's always inspirational to see a strong woman making her way to the top. Especially while juggling motherhood at the same time. It's a form of validation for the rest of us.

  7. True, Anon, but i think it's particularly significant that she became a CEO in the tech world, which is predominently a male-dominated field. It's pretty cool! xoxo

  8. Jacque -- human world...i looove that! xoxo

  9. i know, alexa...makes you wonder where we'll all be in 50 years, doesn't it?

  10. If it's so significant, where are your open letters to Meg Whitman, Virginia Rometty, Anne Mulcahy, Mary Lou Jepson, Mitchell Baker, Ursula Burns, Carly Fiorina, and Eva Chen? Take your time before writing them. Google their names first.

  11. Thanks so much for the suggestion, Anon -- will definitely check them out! xoxo

  12. I love hearing about women making strides in their fields, thanks for taking the time to write about her accomplishments!


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