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Yahoo’s newly appointed CEO, Marissa Mayer, has been the subject of some well-deserved scrutiny since taking over the company in July. While Yahoo’s stock has climbed nearly $5 since she took over, Mayer’s reign hasn’t been all roses for the company. Most of the criticism has stemmed from her apparent lack of tact and respect for her coworkers, who some believe she views more as underlings than equals. Here are four things not to emulate about Marissa Mayer:
1. Be chronically late
The latest reports indicate that employees and even some of Yahoo’s biggest partners have waited upwards of an hour to see the new CEO. According to an anonymous employee, “There has not been a single meeting or event here that since she has taken the helm, she arrives on time, not one…” and it looks like this behavior isn’t new for Mayer. She apparently held “office hours” while at Google, and made VP wait in a line just to speak with her for 5 minutes. Just because she’s the boss does not mean that this behavior is excusable, and for you job seekers out there, it’s even less so. Being late shows people that you don’t value their time, even if it’s unintentional.
2. Ignore your coworkers’ morale
When Mayer started last year, she received a 97% job approval rating, but that number has been slipping ever since. While everyone knew that Mayer would have to trim some of the fat at Yahoo, she has decided to quickly and quietly “snipe out” the employees she wants gone rather than to remove or sell whole departments. “That can hurt morale because employees don’t know when the firings are over, or if they’ll be next,” says Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson, “this behavoir is rubbing some in the rank and file the wrong way.” In short, good employees pay attention to their organization’s overall morale, and good leaders need to even more closely.
3. Disrespect those who try to help you
When most CEO’s orchestrate a deal to acquire another company, they will offer the former CEO an opportunity at their company, but not necessarily in Mayer’s world. Back in 2012, they bought a small company, and hired on the CEO to stay with Yahoo. “Less than a year later, Yahoo parted ways with Interclick founder Michael Katz on Friday – days before he was to get a 12-month retention bonus,” a move that will likely scare away future potential partners and startups. The point is that if someone helps you out – whether during your job search or in the professional world – you shouldn’t completely disrespect their time and effort. This will quickly earn you a reputation, and in the future, people will know that you aren’t worth their time.
4. Blow off opportunities to meet new people
Networking is one of the most important tasks for both CEO’s and job seekers. Mayer has a reputation for staying away from the schmoozy meetings that she should be attending with big advertising agencies. According to Business Insider, “she’s not particularly comfortable around the schmoozy set…people describe her interpersonal style as ‘geeky.’” While “geeky” may not necessarily be all bad, and she did seem excited about this year’s CES conference, it certainly doesn’t bode well for Yahoo to have a CEO with a low tolerance for building new relationships. As a job seeker, you should take a cue from Mayer and get used to it, even if it does make you uncomfortable.
Mayer has plenty of good traits as well, but for job seekers, it might be better to learn from her noticeable shortcomings than from her successes.