In an elaborate photo shoot that took place at an offsite at the Cavallo Point Lodge in Marin County, north of San Francisco, she cast all the top staffers as characters from "The Wizard of Oz" and made them pose for a poster in full costume, since it was to be the theme of the upcoming employee holiday party.
Emerging product head Adam Cahan was the Scarecrow; former development chief Jackie Reses was the Wicked Witch; communications head Jeff Bonforte was the Tin Man; CIO Laurie Mann was the Cowardly Lion; media and marketing boss Kathy Savitt was Glinda; top lawyer Ron Bell was a flying monkey; and CFO Ken Goldman was the Wizard.
And Mayer? Dorothy, of course, with a stuffed animal as Toto.
The effort cost $70,000, according to many sources, and caused some level of consternation among staffers. "It was very embarrassing, but Marissa thought that it was the way to make employees in Silicon Valley happy," said one person there. "We really could not argue."
It was classic Mayer, who is well known in the tech community for her over-the-top personal holiday parties, which have even included a made-from-scratch ice rink and Mayer riding a mini-Zamboni on it.