Yahoo’s New CEO

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Jul 18, 2012    •    686 Views

Headline from CNN Money: “New Yahoo CEO Mayer is Pregnant”

  • 1992: The title of a male CEO’s speech that was reprinted in the Christian Science Monitor: “A Pregnant CEO: In Whose Lifetime?” (Implying the unlikelihood.)
  • 2012: From Marissa Mayer, new Yahoo CEO: Demonstrating no concern that she was pregnant, the Yahoo Board, “…showed their evolved thinking.”
  • From The Atlantic: “What will be really, really fantastic is when someone like Mayer can be a pregnant CEO–rather than, you know, A Pregnant CEO.
  • From writer, Rebecca Traister: “It is great that Marissa Mayer is pregnant, but the intensity of reaction is slightly depressing. Kind of as if they’d hired a yeti.”


In 1980, there were no female CEOs in the Fortune 100 list.

As of July 17, 2012, there were 20 female CEOs in the Fortune 500 list. Here are the top 10, the firm, the Fortune rank:

  1. Meg Whitman (HP #10);
  2. Virginia Rometty (IBM #19);
  3. Patricia A Woertz (Archer Daniels Midland Company #28);
  4. Indra Nooyi (Pepsico, Inc. #41)
  5. Angela F. Braly (WellPoint, Inc. #45)
  6. Irene B. Rosenfeld (Kraft Foods Inc. #50)
  7. Ellen J. Kullman (DuPont #72)
  8. Carol M. Meyrowitz (The TJX Companies, Inc. #125)
  9. Ursula M. Burns (Xerox Corporation #127)
  10. Sheri S. McCoy (Avon Products Inc. #234)


Where does all of this take us?

To optimizing all human capital

“In general, the best clue to a nation’s growth and development potential is the status and role of women.” (from Harvard’s David Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, p. 413).

Catalyst is a good source for female CEO info, this NBER paper discusses the changing face of all CEOs, and here is the CS Monitor speech from 1992 on the dearth of female executives.

For more on Marissa Mayer, to get to know Yahoo’s new CEO, this list of 11 facts about her was fun to read and here is an Atlantic article and one from Salon.

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