Yahoo’s Year-End Party

Written by an anonymous contributor to Motherboard:

When I reached the actual party, the first thing I saw was CEO Marissa Mayer herself behind a series of velvet ropes, dressed in a long sequined gown and seated on a pure white arm chair. Attendees could sit next to her on an adjacent couch and pose for a photo. She was very pregnant and ended up giving birth to twins less than a week later. […]

How could something like this be sustainable, I wondered, especially for a down-on-its-luck company like Yahoo which, as we speak, is poised for a fire sale of epic proportions?

The reported cost of the party is in the millions. (Editor’s note: One shareholder pegged the price at $7 million; a source with knowledge of the cost of the party told Motherboard the price was less than a third of that.)

For a company Yahoo’s size, a $2-3 million year-end party is not exorbitant — even considering the company’s current travails. To me the weird part is the queue for employees to get their picture taken with Mayer.

Update: One plausible explanation: Mayer wanted to say hi to as many employees as possible, but needed to sit because she was one week away from delivering twins. I.e., that it was about being able to sit and rest. Even then, though, the optics of this setup were terrible — particularly in light of shareholder criticism about lavish spending on things like private jets to Davos.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015