By Anne Kingston - Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 0 Comments
Yahoo!’s new CEO is one to watch in 2013
When Yahoo! Inc. named Marissa Mayer as president and CEO in July 2012, it was a very big deal, corporately speaking. Yahoo! poaching the 37-year-old Google executive from its archrival was a major coup; in a press release, the company crowed that Mayer had helped launch “more than 100 features and products including image, book, and product search; toolbar; iGoogle; Google News; and Gmail—creating much of the look and feel of the Google user experience.” Possessed of a smart and sunny demeanour, Mayer was once a visible public face of the search-engine behemoth, famously interviewing Lady Gaga for a “Google goes Gaga” YouTube video in 2011. Much was riding on her ability to turn around the foundering $5-billion tech giant. News of her appointment, which makes her the youngest Fortune 500 company CEO, boded well: Yahoo! stock price rose 2.7 per cent.
Yet what occupied headlines was not Mayer’s stellar professional accomplishments, but her gynecological ones. When she was appointed, the CEO was six months pregnant with her first child (with husband Zack Bogue, a lawyer). When she returned to the executive suite weeks after delivering son Macallister, an inevitable firestorm of debate ensued—one that highlighted the double standard that still applies to mothers, but not fathers, in the top echelons of business. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:28 AM - 0 Comments
This week: An electric vehicle wins car of the year and Pepsi launches a “fat-blocking” soda in Japan
Awash in oil
The International Energy Agency said the United States will become the world’s largest energy producer by 2020, overtaking Saudi Arabia. It will also surpass Russia as the top producer of natural gas, thanks to new technologies like hydraulic fracking. Though the tectonic shift underscores the importance for Canada to sell more oil sands crude overseas, the prospect of North American energy independence promises to eliminate a key source of geopolitical instability: America’s long and often troubled relationship with the Middle East.
According to the latest data, women now make up almost half (46.6 per cent) of the U.S. labour force, while a recent American study found that if female employment rates were to match male levels, overall GDP would rise by five per cent. In other encouraging news, Lockheed Martin named Marillyn Hewson its new chief executive, which means half of America’s six most powerful defence contractors are now led by women. We can only hope the Pentagon—and the C.I.A.—are taking note.
For the first time in the 64-year history of Motor Trend magazine’s prestigious car of the year award, an electric vehicle won: Tesla’s Model S sedan. The car is a testament to American engineering, said the magazine, noting “it drives like a sports car . . . but it’s also as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius.” That a small, California-based start-up can top all the global automakers is a wake-up call for the industry. Silicon Valley is the new Detroit. Continue…
By Anne Kingston - Monday, November 12, 2012 at 10:52 AM - 0 Comments
The new health-wealth paradox
The richer you are, the healthier you are. That maxim is hammered home in studies conducted by everyone from the World Health Organization to StatsCan, which reveal that income is the greatest determinant of health. Affluence and education are routinely linked to longevity and better fitness, nutrition and quality of medical care. As a medical truism, it’s right up there with “women are healthier than men,” based on the understanding that women visit the doctor more, are more concerned with nutrition and fitness, and are less likely to engage in risk-taking behaviour.
It would follow, then, that women who earn the most should be, and feel, healthiest of all. But that arithmetic may not add up. Women who shatter the glass ceiling are encountering a new gender gap, one that can affect their health in a one-two punch. First, they get equal access to the stress-related illnesses and habits that make male CEOs prime coronary candidates. Then, throw in a second, exacerbating factor: that pernicious “work-life” balancing act that has women, far more than men, contorting themselves like Cirque du Soleil performers to meet the demands of work and home. The upshot is a new female wealth-health paradox: earning enough to afford a trainer, an acupuncturist and a nutritionist, but not having the time to go to them.
A new Australian study, in fact, reveals that female executives don’t even have time to go to the doctor. The survey of close to 400 chief financial officers released last month by research firm East & Partners found most male respondents—77 per cent—had visited their doctor in the past year; only 34.8 per cent of women had. More astounding: 43.2 per cent of female CFOs couldn’t recall the last time they had. Continue…
By Kate Lunau - Monday, September 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM - 1 Comment
Before being fired from Yahoo, Bartz was the only female CEO of a top tech firm
Following her dismissal as Yahoo’s chief executive officer last week, Carol Bartz—who was unceremoniously fired over the phone—didn’t go quietly. Barely a day after she was sent packing, Bartz gave an interview to Fortune, calling the company directors “doofuses.” (She may have to pay for those remarks; her contract had a non-disparagement clause.) Even if Bartz wasn’t well-liked, some lamented her departure: now that she’s gone, there are no female CEOs left at major Silicon Valley firms.
Of course, it isn’t just the tech sector that suffers a dearth of women. Among Fortune 500 companies, women now hold just 2.8 per cent of CEO roles, according to Catalyst, a non-profit think tank. Bartz’s firing sparked debate over whether her treatment was sexist, with industry observers describing her as overly blunt and aggressive. Yahoo’s moribund shares rallied at her departure.