Why Marissa Mayer’s Throne Could Signal the End of Company Holiday Parties

by Evil HR Lady on January 6, 2016

Poor Marissa Mayer seems not to be able to do anything right. The Wall Street Journalrecently reported that her senior team seems to be leaving for other opportunities. For a company that was on a turnaround plan, that’s problematic. Then investors started calling for her removal. In the midst of all this, she gave birth to identical twin daughters. Now? She’s being criticized for an extravagant holiday party where she sat in a “throne” behind ropes.

Now, I’ve been on Mayer’s case since she killed telecommuting at Yahoo, but I’ve got her back on the chair with ropes. Mayer just ejected two small humans out of her body. No matter how this happens, it’s unpleasant. Even with nannies doing all the work (and I’m not saying that they are, but even if that’s the case), she’s exhausted, legally disabled, and has weird hormonal things going on. The last thing I would want to do at a week postpartum is go to a Christmas party and have to mingle. I think she’s awesome for going at all, and smart to have a chair to sit in and crowd control set up, because everyone wants to say hi to the famous boss.

To keep reading, click here: Why Marissa Mayer’s Throne Could Signal the End of Company Holiday Parties

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth West January 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

I’m sorry, Suzanne, but I’m going to have to disagree with you on the throne thing. I’m sure plenty of her employees have also given birth and that’s just not a good enough reason for her to set herself up like Queen of the World. I don’t care if she’s the CEO–it’s pretentious, divisive, and snobby. Our CEO is a man, but if he or any executive did something like that, I could never take him seriously ever again.

The rest of your article, as usual, is spot on. 🙂

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charles January 6, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Yea, I wondered about that “throne” bit as well. But, I’ve never worked for a company where folks wanted to have their picture taken with the CEO at a party.

Meet with or have a chat with, sure; but, have their picture taken at a holiday party? nope. never. So, I just dismissed it as being a company culture thing. One that I’ve never seen.

Also, maybe I’m misreading after following all the links; but, there were two things that I at first didn’t understand.

One: Following the one link there is a picture of a woman sitting on a high trapeze which I at first thought was her on the “throne.” Nope, it isn’t. It is just one of the wait staff serving champagne. Sort of going with the party’s theme of the roaring 20s extravaganza.

Two: Maybe I’m also not reading this correctly; but, this party (the roaring 20s theme where she had her “throne”) was BEFORE she gave birth. After following a couple of links you can see her sitting in a roped-off area and very clearly pregnant. I mean, I would hope that nobody has a belly that huge AFTER giving birth!

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charles January 6, 2016 at 7:41 pm

Here’s the link that shows her sitting at her “throne” and, I think, very clearly pregnant:

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/yahoo-had-a-party

So, I don’t blame her for setting it up. Just a week before giving birth? You’d find me at home instead of hanging out at a company function into the evening.

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Kate January 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

I don’t know, though. Most of her employees would have access to FMLA, which means they’re not going to be back a week (a WEEK!!!) post-partum. Ms. Mayer takes very short leaves when having her kids-something she might not have done if she were having children at a non-executive level. She probably needed to sit and wanted to at least make a joke of it.

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Rebecca January 7, 2016 at 12:19 pm

It’s a technology company. She could have made a video to be shown at the party, expressing her warmest appreciation for all employees and regrets about missing the party due to her pregnancy and birth of twins, and let it at that. I’m sure no one would have batted an eye. Things happen. But the throne thing? OK then.

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A. January 11, 2016 at 11:40 pm

I was at the party as an employee and the chair and setup were not as ostentatious as it would appear in the photographs and write-ups. The layout of the room was very open, and the reason for those decorations was obviously to set it apart as a separate section, as well as to give people an area to queue for photo-taking. There was a similar setup for group photos with the same furniture and the cordon elsewhere on the floor.

Marissa is highly approachable on the Yahoo campus. Honestly, this strum und drang is just for the lack of better, most cohesive stories, imo.

Now, before you brand me part of the brainwashed purple masses, let me also mention that I recently decided to depart the company, which I find deeply flawed — however, Marissa is not the problem with Yahoo.

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Evil HR Lady January 12, 2016 at 8:53 am

Thanks for the insight!

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