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Thursday, June 19, 2014


Original Story:

CANNES, France — This is an advertising conference, so some spinning and selling is expected. Yet, a Tuesday presentation from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was flagged by some attendees as an excessively hard sell.

Audience members took to Twitter to criticize Mayer's speech as being stilted and overly promotional for Yahoo.

"Yahoo CEO at Cannes — am I at a sales pitch??" said Jim Donaldson, tweeting under ?@jdonaldson1.

Uwe Gutschow, tweeting under ?@uweg, said Mayer was "doing a hard sell on Yahoo," and she should "know your audience."

Bruce Rogers, tweeting under ?@Brogers825, said "Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reads from script, says nothing new."

During her scripted talk at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Mayer highlighted Yahoo's assets such as social-media blogging site Tumblr, which it acquired last year.

She provided the packed audience with examples of advertiser campaigns on Yahoo properties and highlighted the site's digital magazines.

She also talked about art, as well as trends in areas such as mobile, video, social media and native advertising.

Mayer played up to the egos of the ad industry audience by noting that commercials are often more interesting than programming, saying that ads can be "30-second stories."

The Yahoo chief was one of more than 300 speakers at this festival, which is the advertising industry's biggest awards competition and trade show.

Traditionally, festival speakers are more uninhibited. For example, in the middle of being interviewed on stage Monday, filmmaker Spike Jonze turned to the audience and asked the crowd to ask him questions.

On Sunday, Baywatch star David Hasselhoffran  walked through the audience carrying a red buoy just before he took to the stage. After that presentation, Hasselhoff readily took pictures with attendees that rushed the stage to snap his image.


Original Story:

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yahoo on Tuesday shared some basic demographic information on its work force, the latest Silicon Valley company to reveal the stark lack of diversity in its ranks.

For years technology companies have resisted reporting this information even though they collect it and report it to the federal government.

But Google late last month swung open the door by revealing the gender and racial breakdown of its work force, bringing to the fore an issue that Silicon Valley has long wanted to keep hidden from public view: that these work forces are predominantly white and male.

Google made the move after Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. stood up at its annual shareholder meeting to urge Google to disclose its numbers. He made a similar plea at the Facebook shareholder meeting. But the giant social network where Sheryl Sandberg is the No. 2 executive, said it preferred to share the data internally first.

Yahoo, which is also run by a woman and another former Google executive, Marissa Mayer, said 50% of its work force of more than 12,000 is white, 39% Asian, 4% Hispanic, 2% black and 4% undisclosed or more than one race.

Asians comprise 57% of Yahoo's tech workers while 35% of tech workers are white. About 37% of Yahoo workers are women and 23% of senior managers are women.

Last week, LinkedIn also disclosed its diversity figures, which were very similar to those released by Google and Yahoo. But LinkedIn also released the demographic report it provides to the federal government.

Only Intel, Cisco and a smattering of other companies routinely disclose their demographic reports to the federal government.