Leadership

Why Marissa Mayer is the ‘least likable’ CEO in tech

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer may have launched her career in tech as one of Google's first employees, but her meteoric rise hasn't come without problems.

In fact, Mayer, 42, has just been ranked the least likable CEO in tech, according to a new survey from Owler, a business insights website.

Owler compiled rankings from its business professionals community and used an algorithm to analyze over 250,000 ratings. That process led to a list of the most likable CEOs across 50 cities and 25 industries.

Mayer performed the worst of all public tech company CEOs with a 32.8 rating out of 100, falling short of the industry's 69.7 average rating. While tech leaders represented nearly half of the 50 most likable CEOs of U.S. public companies, the Yahoo executive also earned the second-lowest rating of all public company CEOs — just one ranking above United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz.

Mayer's low rating might not come as a surprise to most, as she has been widely criticized for her leadership since becoming Yahoo's chief executive in July 2012. After demanding that the company's remote employees resume working from the office, routinely arriving late to meetings and being called a micromanager by Yahoo insiders, Mayer has not gotten much of a break from public and employee disapproval.

Mayer might not hold onto her title as CEO for much longer anyway, as she's expected to leave the company in June when Verizon finishes its $4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo. Former Yahoo president Sue Decker recently criticized the company's performance and Mayer's anticipated $186 million payout.

In 2016, the New York Times detailed Yahoo employees' low morale and lack of faith in Mayer.

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"Marissa is the type of boss that makes you feel like you're disappointing her at all times, so I always feel like I'm on the verge of being fired," Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo's senior vice president for communications products, tells the New York Times. Interestingly, he also praised Mayer as the best boss he's ever had.

Mayer's mistakes as a leader are similar to those most bosses make. As noted by former Google executive and sought-after Silicon Valley CEO coach Kim Scott, having one person make the majority of a team's decisions, both granular and strategic, can hurt the group's performance in the long run.

Researchers say good bosses are hard to come by, but as one of the highest-paid female CEOs and a leader in the tech industry, Mayer could probably use a few tips to become a more well-liked boss.