I reported to Marissa before she was a VP, after she was a VP, and then to someone who reported to her. I was never close friends with her, but I do consider her a mentor and I have many friends in common with her.
The comment on HN is not an accurate portrayal. I can see why someone would think that, as many people had difficulty working with her. **She’s opinionated, smart, and direct. I’d argue that it’s very rare to find someone extremely successful who doesn’t rub a lot of people the wrong way.** If you’re smarter than 85% of people in the room on any given day, and have been for most of your life, then you get used to knowing what someone not as smart as you is going to say, cutting them off to tell them why they’re wrong, and moving on. This is an unfortunate mode of operation most people come to — there are only so many hours in the day…
But I soon learned that it was a side effect of not having enough hours in the day, and they’d learned to be direct. As an aside: not all executives are this way, and there’s no excuse for being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. But let’s look at these behaviors in context and give people the benefit of the doubt. What I found interesting is that this behavior most often annoyed people who were **less secure in their own abilities** or who were less well respected by the organization already. It was really that a curt executive magnified something they already felt, rather than being the source of the issue."
Anonymous user on Quora // How was Marissa Mayer viewed within Google?
This reminds me of a recent conversation I had with my supervisor because I can totally relate to Marissa based on the feedback I was getting. I’ve highlighted my favorite parts with two asterisks.