In a recent post, Jeanne Roué-Taylor expressed her skepticism for the Yahoo! decision to no longer allow employees to work from home. That was the first day of a breaking story and from the outset, it looked like a poor decision and significant step backward for a Silicon valley stalwart (though a bit of a limping giant).
Since the story broke, however, there have been other messages smuggled out of Sunnyvale that are supportive of her decision. Rumor has it that Yahoo! culture has grown as fat as French labor unions and something had to give.
There are stories of empty parking lots and people who haven’t logged onto the VPN for days. If that’s the case, then this early Internet giant was due for something other than the status quo.
This is a story that seems to have real staying power as people debate the pros and cons of Mayer’s decision. If it’s true that Yahoo! needs to rebuild it’s culture, then she’s doing exactly what she needs to do…not with a scalpel but with a sledgehammer.
Culture is a funny thing. It can sustain a company during a rough patch or bury a company despite the effort of great individuals. For all we know, this was exactly what the Yahoo! Board wanted when it brought her in.
Only time will tell.