Marissa Mayer: God, family and Yahoo

Even though she’s made plenty of headlines, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has largely avoided the news media since taking the top job at the struggling Internet company last summer. But she’s definitely in the spotlight this week:

First, she agreed to sit for an onstage interview with Fortune magazine on Tuesday night after the magazine featured her in its annual list of “Most Powerful Women.” Then she joined a group of corporate leaders from around the country who were invited to meet in Washington D.C. with President Obama on Wednesday, for discussions about the looming federal budget crisis.

The Fortune event was closed to outside press, but it doesn’t sound like Mayer revealed any big secrets about her plans for the company, judging from the write-up by Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram and an unauthorized live-blog by Kara Swisher at All Things D.

Instead, Mayer repeated some of the points she stressed on the company’s last earnings call, when she made the case for turning Yahoo into a mobile-focused tech company.

Yahoo already has “a terrific set of assets on the web – all the things people want to do on their mobile phone,” she said, according to Lev-Ram’s account. “The interesting thing is when you look at what people want to do on their phone, it’s mail, weather, check stock quotes and news. That’s Yahoo’s business.”

Mayer, a former longtime Google executive, also talked about making Yahoo a “fun” place to work, which is pretty much a standard talking point for any Silicon Valley CEO.

But the Wisconsin native offered her own version of a famous quote from former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, in response to a  question about setting priorities.  Mayer – who gave birth to her first child over the summer – said her top priorities are “God, family and Yahoo.”

Citing the need to ruthlessly focus on those priorities, Mayer said that’s why she hasn’t been doing interviews or public speeches, according to Lev-Ram, who reported that Mayer added: “And I will go back to not talking after tonight.”

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (338 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.