Marissa and The C Word


Glamour shot of Marissa Mayer

Photograph by Brigitte Lacombe for

Here's how I started this piece three weeks ago, in an attempt to cure my glacial pace of posting in these precincts:

"So here we are, at the end of a week that saw Google roll out a number of offerings, including a nice-looking tablet that Apple promptly hit with an injunction."

The idea was to talk about Google I/O, that company's three-day answer to Apple's WWDC. These events are planned so far in advance that the timing must have been coincidental, though the Valley is a small place where secrets are hard to keep. Still, my favorable impression of all the bulletins from the Googleplex was not the result of failing to get a WWDC ticket during the two hours they were available before selling out. No, the vague premonition of big news from the 'Plex had been building for some time. I just didn't think it would be about someone leaving.

For those too captivated by Baingate to have heard about Marrisa Mayer being appointed Yahoo's new CEO, let's just say that the day after that announcement brought even bigger news about her pregnancy. Amid the roiling controversy that outed closet chauvinists here and abroad, one fact remained clear and incontrovertible. This is one driven person.

Her technical and business chops notwithstanding (two CS degrees from Stanford, early first-string offense at the 'Plex), Mayer brings the one thing Yahoo needs to survive: what we in the recently rediscovered Brooklyn of my youth call chutzpah

Let's look at who runs the Big Four.

facebook Zuckerberg



amazon Bezos

Spirit of Steve Jobs

Oh, and the fifth wheel in this new world order? 


The other Steve


Not exactly a bunch of wallflowers.

Yahoo still has great technology. Bloated managerial ranks? Yes. Warped strategy? Check.

But hindsight is 20-20. No less a skeptic than Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures said, "Yahoo is no longer dead to me." 

Now, that's chutzpah. 

Bring it, Marrisa!