Yahoo! once again has a woman leading their company. The newly appointed CEO Marissa Mayer has a lot to prove and a lot of challenges to face since the last woman CEO of Yahoo, Carol Bartz, did not make investors happy.
But enough about the strifes and tribulations of being Yahoo’s new CEO. What matters is, another being with two X chromosomes is leading another top tech business.
This article is a tribute to all the women in the tech industry.
Marissa Mayer – Yahoo! President and CEO
Mayer graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in symbolic systems and an M.S. in Computer Science, and specialized in artificial intelligence in both degrees. In 2009, the Illinois Institute of Technology granted Mayer an honoris causa doctorate degree, or an honorary doctorate degree, in recognition of her work in the field of search.
She spent 13 years at Google, serving as employee number 20, and the first woman engineer on the team. She was responsible for the clean, crisp look and feel of Google’s search page and much of the design involved in the products and services of Google.
In 2010, she was promoted to vice president of location and local services in Google. She is a board member of Walmart, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Ballet, New City Ballet, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. And after years of hard work and persistence, she is now Yahoo’s CEO and president, and also a member of the company’s board of directors.
Mayer plays as hard as she works. She enjoys fashion, even paying $60,000 at a charity auction so she could have lunch with her favorite designer Oscar de la Renta. She loves cupcakes so much that she gathered all the recipes she could get her hands on, made a spreadsheet of all the recipes, then made her own recipes based on the recipes she’d acquired. Oh, by the way, she also did a spreadsheet for frosting.
In 2009 she married venture capitalist Zachary Bogue while wearing a knockout-gown by Naeem Khan and having The Killers play at their rehearsal dinner. And after announcing her new position at Yahoo, she happily announced that she and her husband are expecting a baby boy in October. Talk about a woman who can juggle!
Ginni Rometty – IBM President and CEO
Rometty graduated from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University in 1979 with high honors, receiving a bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering. After graduating, she worked at General Motors before joining IBM in 1981 as a systems engineer. In 1991, she joined IBM’s Consulting Group and in 2002, she made her mark by leading the purchase of the big business consulting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, for $3.5 billion. In 2009, she became became senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy and is credited with spearheading IBM’s growth strategy by getting the company into the cloud computing and analytics businesses. Rometty was responsible for preparing Watson, the Jeopardy! playing computer, for commercial use.
On October 25, 2011, IBM announced that Rometty was the next in line to take the prestigious positions of CEO and president of the company, marking the first time the company had a woman taking the the reigns. Sam Palmisano, the CEO and president before her, stated that, “Ginni got it because she deserved it… It’s got zero to do with progressive social policies.”
Meg Whitman – Hewlett-Packard President and CEO
Margaret Cushing “Meg” Whitman is the current President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The position landed in her lap just months after she joined HP in January of 2011 as a member of the board of directors. She graduated from Cold Spring Harbor High School in New York and recalled that she was in the top ten of her class. Whitman aspired to become a doctor, studying math and science at Princeton University, but after an advertising stint for a magazine, she switched to economics and earned a B.A. with honors then got an M.B.A. at the HArvard Business School.
Her career started as Proctor & Gamble’s brand manager, then she became a consultant at Bain & Company and eventually the company’s Vice President. She moved on to become vice president of strategic planning at The Walt Disney Company in 1989 and two years later, joined the Stride Rite Corporation, before becoming president and CEO of Florists’ Transworld Delivery in 1995.
She oversaw global management and marketing of two popular children’s brands, Playskook and Mr. Potato Head, while serving as Hasbro’s Playskool Division General Manager, and was the one responsible for bringing the popular UK children’s television show Teletubbies to the U.S.
In 1998, Whitman joined eBay’s team and was the one responsible for the transformation and growing of the company while serving as the company’s CEO. eBay successfully acquired Skype during her reign. She remained on eBay’s board after her resignation as CEO in 2007 and stayed as advisor to new CEO John Donahoe for a year. Whitman also served aon the board of directors of the eBay Foundation, Procter & Gamble and DreamWorks SKG, until early 2009; appointed to the board of Goldman Sachs in October 2001 but resigned in December 2002; and was appointed a part-time special adviser at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in May 2011.
It’s not only the business industry that Whitman wanted to rule–she also aspired to serve the public when she ran for Governor in the State of California back in 2010 but lost the election. But losing the election wasn’t the end of her public service. Back in 2006, she and her husband founded a charitable foundation, Griffith R. Harsh IV and Margaret C. Whitman Charitable Foundation, whose proceeds benefited many charitable causes and even the Environmental Defense Fund.
Safra A. Catz – Oracle President
Safra A. Catz is the president of Oracle and has been serving the company since she joined it in April 1999. Catz served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer from November 2005 to September 2008 and has been the president of the company since 2004.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1986. After graduating, she held various investment banking positions, which included the position of Managing Director at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a global investment bank, before joining Oracle. In 2008, while serving as CFO of Oracle, she became a non-executive Director of HSBC Group.
Catz ranked 12th in Fortune’s most powerful woman in business in 2009 and 16th in Forbes’ most powerful woman.