Being a Female CEO of a Tech Startup in Southeast Asia (Part 4)

Posted by Abe on September 17, 2015

Full Stack Engineer

Published on September 17, 2015

What did Marissa do for Yahoo?

Women in Southeast Asia and the world could always use more female role models. Having role models motivates us to diversify roles within companies big and small. Role models encourage women to be fearless, bold, hungry for learning, striving to do something amazing for the world. When Marissa Mayer took over as Yahoo’s new CEO, it was all the craze on all the major news outlets.

Marissa was going to turn Yahoo around – but interestingly enough, the focal point of the news was the fact that she was female, a mom. That didn’t quite go over well with her.

Google's Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo CEO

What is Marissa’s take on this?

For starters, she has made it very clear that her gender should never be a factor in how she is evaluated as a CEO. She expects to be attributed by her experience, contributions and ability to excel in computer science, mathematics, software engineering and keen sense for running a company. A real leader.

A recent January 2015 Bloomberg report shows that Google’s market share – mind you Marissa was one of the early founders of Google before it became the giant information technology super power it is today – has dropped to an all-time low since 2008.

However, Yahoo’s market share took a nice little hop up by 5%. Yahoo’s stock increased 75%. Marisa managed to re-shape the dying culture due to consecutive losses in Yahoo. She reformed the culture of work at Yahoo so it became more democratized. Employee retention improved, as Yahoo is now back on top as one of the more attractive places to work. She helped re-launch and rebrand Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Weather apps.

Also, Yahoo customer engagement has been given more focus to build up the Yahoo fan base again. More focus on company initiatives migrated to the mobile market. Who cares that she was Google’s first female engineers. Let’s just say that Marissa is a lady that likes to get things done.


Marissa is not the only one

Marissa has had a lot of attention and coverage in media, but it is important to note that she is also not the only female doing this. Marissa is no exception, however she brought some light and attention to the disparage of women in leading executive roles. Watch this Fortune video below on advice that Sergey Brin of Google gave Marissa when she transitioned from Google to her new role as CEO of Yahoo.

An article on the Entrepreneur website titled Why Female CEO’s Are Getting More Funding states:

“A 2012 Dow Jones report found that startups with more female executives have a better shot at success. Likewise, a 2013 SBA report found that VC firms that back female founders make more money.”

For women around the world, including Southeast Asia, we owe it to women like Marissa for being BOLD and for teaching and inspiring more women to start their own business, to rise to the occasion and step into executive roles. Marissa is definitely someone who inspires me. Women like Marissa truly motivate me to keep going, to keep my foot on the pedal, to be persistent, to work hard and to be a part of making a positive change for women. She is one of few who’s seriously knocked some walls down in tech, and it’s clear that she took that advice from Sergey Brin to heart. She’s smart and an ultimate bad ass.

Thank you Marissa.


Who is your personal role model or mentor? Who inspired you to become whoever you are today? Let us know in the comment section below.

You would like to read more posts like that?

Then you should also check out Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 of the series.

Full Stack Engineer

Published on September 17, 2015