San Francisco - Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to a boy
late on Sunday, adding motherhood to her challenges as she tries to steer the
struggling internet company in a new direction.
The birth came a week ahead of the October 7 due date that
Mayer shared with the public in July. She announced her pregnancy on her social
networking accounts just a few hours after Yahoo hired her as its third
full-time CEO in less than a year.
The pregnancy news amplified the buzz about Mayer's
defection from Google, where she spent 13 years as a key executive overseeing
some of the services that helped to drag down Yahoo.
Yahoo's decision to anoint a soon-to-be mom as its CEO was
hailed as a breakthrough for women seeking to prove men aren't the only ones
who can balance a high-powered executive lifestyle and early parenthood.
The attention surrounding Mayer's pregnancy and the birth of
her child intensifies the pressure as she tries to engineer a long-awaited
turnaround at one of the internet's best-known companies. Although Yahoo's
website remains one of the internet's top destinations, the company's revenue
has fallen in recent years.
At the same time, it fell behind online search
leader Google and online social networking leader Facebook in the race to build
compelling services and sell more advertising.
The birth of Mayer's boy comes three weeks before the CEO
will share her blueprint for infusing Yahoo
with new life.
She plans to make her first extensive public remarks about
her strategy in the company's third-quarter earnings call scheduled for October
Mayer, 37, intends to work from home for a brief period
while remaining involved in all key company decisions. She will return to her
office at Yahoo's Sunnyvale, California headquarters in one to two weeks,
company spokesperson Anne Espiritu said.
No matter how much Mayer may have prepared for her baby's
arrival, she is likely to be surprised by some of the difficulties that torment
working moms, predicted Kim Smith, a partner with Witt/Kieffer, an executive
recruitment firm that has worked with other mothers who have time-consuming
"You can't chart out what it's like to be a mom,"
Smith said. "The hardest thing to manage is the unforeseen physical and
emotional demands that it places on you when you are striving to be in two
places at exactly the same time."
The baby boy and Mayer are doing "great",
according to Twitter post on Monday morning by Mayer's husband, Zack Bogue, a
former lawyer turned Silicon Valley capitalist.
The couple hadn't named the boy as of early Monday. Mayer
took some time out early Monday to send out an email to some of her friends and
colleagues soliciting suggestions for a name.
"She's crowdsourcing suggestions for Baby Boy Bogue's
name!" tweeted New York University journalism professor and blogger Jeff
Jarvis, one of the recipients of Mayer's group email "How digital can you
Although she has shared few specifics of her plans for
Yahoo, Mayer has indicated she intends to ramp up spending to attract talented
employees and burnish Yahoo's products in an effort to keep web surfers on the
company's website for longer periods of time.
Analysts also believe she may
pursue acquisitions with a portion of the $4.3bn after-tax windfall that Yahoo
is getting in exchange for selling half its stake in Chinese internet company
At about the same time Mayer returns to the office, she will
start working with a new chief financial officer, Ken Goldman, whose hiring was
announced last week. He is replacing Tim Morse, a cost-cutting specialist who
apparently no longer fit in with Mayer's future plans for Yahoo.
Yahoo shares fell 15 cents to close at $15.83. The price has
been hovering in $15 to $16 range since Mayer's hiring.
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