But a glittering surface often deflects attention from a messier reality, and that’s true with Mayer and Yahoo. No one wants to sound as if they aren’t rooting for Yahoo or for her, and because Mayer didn’t cooperate for this article, even her friends were often unwilling to speak on the record about her. She’s anything but easy to categorize, in ways that are both interesting and possibly troubling for Yahoo’s future. “She is a confusing person,” says someone who has worked with her closely. “It is a mistake to paint her as an angel or as a devil.” Another executive who worked with her agrees that she is a hard person to understand. “There are some parts of Marissa World that are just inexplicably weird,” he says. “It doesn’t add up.” [Vanity Fair, related]

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Comments (30)

  1. Posted by Short, But Long | December 5, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I love a nicely manicured lawn… or hell, no lawn at all!

  2. Posted by Guy who digs Becky | December 5, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    You'd think with all the other airbrushing a photoshop they did in the damn picture they would have done something about those legs.

  3. Posted by everyone | December 5, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    yeah, i'd tear that up.

  4. Posted by guest | December 5, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    she didnt cooperate for the article yet she posed supine on a lounger in a Michael Kors dress?

  5. Posted by ILoveLamp | December 5, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    I can't help but think those quotes are actually euphemisms for "she's an absolute bitch!"

  6. Posted by guest | December 5, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    the picture is from a different story: http://dealbreaker.com/2013/09/if-she-could-do-it

  7. Posted by Guest | December 5, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Next she'll be renaming Yahoo to Moom to compete with Goop

  8. Posted by Rousseau | December 5, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    A woman that's difficult to understand and work with? Hmmm…

  9. Posted by guest | December 5, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    later in the article:

    A product manager who worked for her feels that she eventually became a hindrance, more of a micro-manager than a help. “All she did was move pixels around,” he says. “There was huge dissatisfaction that built. She became more and more authoritarian, and she would just say no if she wasn’t in a good mood or she didn’t like the color.” He adds, “I absolutely hated working for her, and you could not find a single peer of mine at Google who would work with her again.”

    When I say that surely this is an overstatement, he says, “Name me one code-writing Google engineer who [worked with her and] has followed her to Yahoo.”

    Mayer’s problems were mainly with people who were at her level. The cliché “my way or the highway” is one that people often invoke to describe her approach. “She is a dictator, with a top-down style,” says yet another Google employee. “It doesn’t work if people feel like they should be equal to her.”

  10. Posted by guest | December 5, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    take a lap.

  11. Posted by Vanity Tracker | December 5, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    She clearly doesn't have the pull Gwynneth Paltrow has because Paltrow was able to get her unauthorized "Vanity Fair" story killed.

  12. Posted by guest | December 5, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I am wondering if she got her polio vaccination.

  13. Posted by Harsh but fair | December 5, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    When YHOO is trading at $4/share and exploring its "strategic options" all kinds of coworkers and friends will be willing to talk about her.

  14. Posted by Get your popcorn | December 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Am I the only one excited to see a spat between Bethany McLean and Marissa Mayer?
    http://reactiongifs.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/08

  15. Posted by guest | December 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    first of all, it's tough but fair. second of all, you don't get to say if your comment is 'tough but fair,' that is up to the judgment of the commentariat. this is not 'nam, there are rules.

  16. Posted by sasasa | December 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Oh, yeah, you'd 'tap that.' What, Seth, you think you're cool with your little Jew Fro? We don't say 'tap that.' What are you talking about, Seth?

  17. Posted by Guest | December 5, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    "It doesn't work if people feel like they should be equal to her"? Well unless they actually are equal to her, like same level on the org chart, that particular problem is not with Marissa Mayer. Not saying she isn't a nightmare.

    Guy (yes, guy) who is convinced there is no worse boss for a smart, attractive young woman than another woman.

  18. Posted by Guest | December 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    On the debate team she debated why voting rights for the homeless were not needed because she had the foresight to see that the homeless would be used as Mifi Hotspot hubs and she needed to make certain they wouldn't have any governmental representation to stop such abuse.

  19. Posted by guest | December 5, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    " "It doesn't work if people feel like they should be equal to her"? Well unless they actually are equal to her, like same level on the org chart, that particular problem is not with Marissa Mayer. "

    seconded.

  20. Posted by Guest | December 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    2She had a nervous tic, an nnnhh sound she made when she paused, that made her seem almost a parody of a stereotypical nerd. There was also her laugh, which is so famously idiosyncratic that there is a YouTube compilation of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcSujceZDmg "

    No way, does she really make that sound?!?!

  21. Posted by guest | December 5, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Oh, Seth, please! You have a tiny penis…

  22. Posted by Guest | December 5, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    " (Mayer told the magazine, “It’s hard to tell where my aesthetic ends and Google’s begins.”) "

    barf.

  23. Posted by Guest | December 5, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    That not the picture of an authoritarian. Show me a woman dressed in black boots in a santa hat with a whip, and I'll believe.

  24. Posted by Rebecca M. | December 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    What do you have against it, because you can't swim?

    -UBS Sports Betting MD

  25. Posted by Bored Guest | December 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Tough, but fair.

  26. Posted by Press Release Quant | December 5, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    It's strategic alternatives champ.

  27. Posted by Hactivist | December 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    I just googled for Marrisa Mayer and got Page Error: 69

  28. Posted by adam | December 5, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I don't know why Bess is calling her upside down ? I just turned the magazine cover upside down and Marissa looked alright

  29. Posted by Guest | December 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    She's got the other Mary (Tyler Moore) Richards CEO to live up to, the butt-kicking, drop kicking leakers to fuckin-Mars, Carol Bartz. How long until Mayer steal the "Most Overpaid" title won by Bartz in 2010?

  30. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    She got the spreadsheet on potential husbands wrong.Page's net worth surely should have outscored her current husband;s,.