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Marissa Mayer in Vogue

Why the Powerful and Fashionable Marissa Mayer Seems Totally Normal

Considering her smarts, success, and the fact that she just posed for Vogue, you might find Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, a bit intimidating. But in the 3,000-word profile featured in the fashion magazine's September issue, Marissa comes across as pretty normal. Of course, not many working moms can start a national dialogue on work-life balance, like Marissa did when she banned working from home at her Internet company. But on the whole, the latest look into her life comes up with some surprisingly typical details. Here are some excerpts from Vogue that stood out.

  • She drives an old car. "Most days she drives herself back and forth to work in an eighteen-year-old BMW."
  • She and her husband have pretty typical hobbies. "They run half marathons together and love hiking, skiing, travel, and good restaurants."
  • And she met him through a friend. "The couple met in 2007, via a mutual friend. A former football and rugby player at Harvard."
  • She gets shy. "For the first 15 minutes she wants to leave any party, including one in her own home. 'I will literally look at my watch and say, 'You can’t leave until time x,' she says. 'And if you’re still having a terrible time at time x, you can leave.'"
  • She has her quirks. "'I really like even numbers and I like heavily divisible numbers. Twelve is my lucky number — I just love how divisible it is. I don’t like odd numbers and I really don’t like primes.'"
  • She was a Girl Scout. "Growing up with a younger brother in Wausau, Wisconsin, she never had fewer than one after-school activity per day: ballet, ice-skating, piano, swimming, debate team, Brownies."
  • She stays true to her roots. "She still talks to her best friend from junior high every few weeks."

Considering she was Google employee number 20, is CEO of Yahoo!, and has more money than most can even imagine, you'd guess that the Vogue profile included at least one example of how Marissa is not just like us. Here's one:

  • She has a replica of a her favorite diner in her backyard. "Mayer turns more gregarious as she explains the presence at one edge of the garden of a two-story, miniaturized model of Palo Alto’s Peninsula Creamery, a local diner where Stanford students go for milk shakes (the pineapple malts are Mayer’s favorite)."
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