Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Had A Baby Boy

Marissa MayerMarissa Mayer photo by Giorgio Montersino on Flickr

On Sunday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to a baby boy, and after the congratulatory tweets rolled out across the Twittersphere, the knives came out everywhere else.

At issue is Mayer’s decision to work right up until the birth of her son Sunday night and go back to work a mere week from now.

Joanna Mazewski at Babble says this is bad news for her child:

Now, while I understand that she has some pretty big shoes to fill as being the head of a company like Yahoo, having less than two weeks to spend with your baby as a new mother just plain sucks. Sorry, but no salary or quest for equality is more important than being with your newborn child when they need their mother the most.

Commenters at are also weighing in, and it ain’t pretty. One writes:

She has no CLUE what she is getting into. This is terrible. If it had been her second or third child, I’d say YEAH!, she knows what it’s like to have a high pressure job and a baby. Now, it could be a complete disaster…she could just fold like sooo many first time moms in high pressure jobs.

But others don’t see what the big deal is.

S. Mitra Kalita at Quartz says Mayer should ignore the judgers:

I’m no CEO but I have been on two maternity leaves and here’s a confession that might make you feel better: I worked through both of them, too. It’s what successful women do.

The debate about what women can and should do with their work, skills, and ambitions once a baby comes along never ends because we haven’t found a good solution to the problem of wanting or needing to be in two places at one time. It’s messy, but isn’t the best of life?

To me the greatest gift of parenting has been learning to appreciate the mess. As my children grow as high as my chin and talk to me in complete sentences, even sometimes spontaneously clean their rooms, I think back on the hardest moments of their early years and feel the resonance of Sigmund Freud’s famous quote: “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

There will be times when Marissa Mayer will want to soothe her crying baby as she’s walking out the door or when she’d like nothing more than to doze as her small son sleeps on her chest. A high fever will have her racing to the ER instead of the office. Even with her fleet of nannies and night nurses, new motherhood will, without warning, sometimes bring her to her knees. I hope she’ll keep trying to figure it out.

And I hope that in a year or two she’ll report back to us on how she handled her role as both CEO and first-time mother. She will have story to tell us unlike any we’ve ever heard. I hope she’ll tell us the truth.

  • Elaine G

    What is missing from this article is that Marissa does have a husband. I assume that he’ll be playing an active role in his child’s care also. I would imagine she could bring her baby to work with her on some days to spend some of her time, albeit limited, with the baby. Sure there will be pressure as she is a female CEO, but she wouldn’t have made it there if she doesn’t have the right stuff. She may fail or seem to fail in this new role, but I don’t think it will be because she is also a new mom. It will be because there are a lot of people who don’t like to see women in these positions. They will work against her and make a big issue of any little issue. And what is the problem with working until the end of her pregnancy. Many, many women do it if they are having a good pregnancy and it appears that Marissa did. I, frankly, am tired of these conversations. I had my son at her age and became a single mom a few years later. I continued my education and had a very busy and successful career. And my son turned out terrific. I wish her well on both fronts. Congratulations to Marissa and Zach on their new baby boy.

  • Blane Jackson

    Has this world gone mad?


    No wonder Yahoo is sliding into oblivion. With all the talented people in the universe, Yahoo picks a 37 year old pregnant mother as it’s CEO? Did they think she might be a little distracted with a new baby, post-partum depression, getting her body healthy, dealing with daycare, on and on and on.

    Not that she’s not a fine lady and a good manger but really? Does Yahoo have the luxury of setting progressive social standards? Did anyone ask the stockholders?

    This is nuts.