Most expectant mothers who hold down a 9-to-5er welcome maternity leave as a period of recuperation and bonding with the new arrival.
This might be a challenge, however, for Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive and now the new chief executive officer of Yahoo. After the Monday announcement that she will take over at Yahoo, Mayer disclosed that she and her husband, investor and entrepreneur Zack Bogue, are expecting a child in October.
Mayer, however, plans to do something many new moms on leave probably don’t even think about, or do they?
“My maternity leave will be a few weeks long, and I’ll work throughout it,” Mayer told the Yahoo board of trustees while interviewing for the job, according to NBCnews.com. In a tweet, she said she was expecting a baby boy.
Mayer, a 37-year-old expert in artificial intelligence, was a Google vice president in charge of Google Maps, Google Earth and Street View. According to CNN.com, she is responsible for the “minimalist home page” that greets Google searchers and was the first female engineer Google had ever hired when she joined the company 13 years ago.
She’ll have her work cut out for her at Yahoo, which might explain why she’s toiling through her maternity. Mayer, who The Wall Street Journal says has a “limited management track record”, will be the financially struggling company’s fifth CEO in five years. Yahoo also announced in April that it was cutting 14 percent of its 14,100 workforce, and Mayer comes in the midst of the downsizing.
Emory University management consultant Kevin Coyne told the Journal, “It’s an incredible challenge. If she succeeds, it will be a landmark case for women everywhere.”
Some might say she’s setting an unreasonable bar for women lower on the Yahoo career ladder who might feel pressured to work while on maternity leave.
Still others might applaud Mayer’s ability to juggle Yahoo’s myriad demands and the challenges of a newborn.
What do you think?