The way Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer looks in Vogue’s photo shoot, she should have been the one on Vogue’s coveted September cover. Dressed in a fitted blue dress with her long blonde hair splashed across the white backdrop of a white lounger, Mayer is so stunning you’d barely recognize her.
The 3,000-word piece by Vogue is probably the most personal look into Mayer’s life than anything previously published.
Here are a few memorable quotes from Vogue:
- She suffers from shyness, she says, and has had to discipline herself to deal with it. For the first fifteen minutes she wants to leave any party, including one in her own home. “I will literally look at my watch and say, ‘You can’t leave until time x,’ ” she says. “ ‘And if you’re still having a terrible time at time x, you can leave.’” She has learned that if she makes herself stay for a fixed period, she often gets over her social awkwardness and ends up having fun.
- One of the program’s alumnae, Jess Lee, the CEO of the fashion site Polyvore, describes Mayer as a perfectionist. “She’ll spot a lot of little details other people might not notice,” she says. “But when you add them up in aggregate, it’s the difference between a beautiful, polished product and one that feels more awkward.” Lee notes that when Mayer recently hosted an APM reunion at her house, she took time to write a personal note in each of the 200 commemorative photo books.
- Most days she drives herself back and forth to work in an eighteen-year-old BMW, but she has also attracted attention for a high-profile social life, including glitzy parties she and Bogue threw at their penthouse apartment atop the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.
- When one of the project managers notes that a design change is likely to harm advertising revenue, Mayer makes it clear that the product comes first. “I just want to make sure it’s user-experience positive,” she says. “I’m worried that we’re making trade-offs that are negative to users.”
- She set up a nursery next to her office, and for several months after Macallister was born, he and his nanny came to work with her.
- Every quarter, she offers highlights and lowlights as voted by the employees. At the most recent board meeting, the top vote-getters included the weather app, the Tumblr acquisition, the Flickr relaunch, moving into the old New York Times building near Times Square, as well as Yahoo’s new family-leave policy, which went a long way to assuage employees still stewing over the ban on working from home.