Man fired for ‘being male’ at Yahoo was on ‘Bad Managers’ list, court hears

Conflicting claims have flown fast and thick in the lawsuit filed by two men who claim they were fired from management jobs at Yahoo as part of an illegal purge of males at the former Silicon Valley giant.

Gregory Anderson and Scott Ard allege in the suit, filed in February 2016, that former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer fostered use of a performance-rating system marred by “management’s subjective biases and personal opinions, to the detriment of Yahoo’s male employees.”

Yahoo was bought by Verizon for $4.5 billion in June.

Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.

On Oct. 11, San Jose U.S. District Court issued a case-management document that outlined the arguments made by Anderson and Ard, and those made by Yahoo.

“Plaintiffs Anderson and Ard assert they were both terminated from their positions as editors in Yahoo’s media organization by their female supervisors, and replaced with female employees,” the document said. “Plaintiffs both heard statements from Yahoo employees … that management was looking to fill their positions with women.

“Both plaintiffs were terminated as part of a restructuring of (Yahoo’s) media organization management by its female management to place more women in positions of management.”

And they claim Yahoo had treated them with “callous disregard” following a “sea-change in upper management” that filled all the management positions above them with women.

Yahoo countered that Anderson and Ard were fired for doing a lousy job as managers.

Anderson was hired in 2010 and fired in 2014 while the firm was conducting a program to “increase the performance of company employees, especially managers,” according to the document.

“While he claims Yahoo selected him for termination because he is a male, in fact Yahoo terminated Anderson’s employment because his Quarterly Performance Review scores over his last four quarters of employment placed him in the bottom 5 percent of the employees in Yahoo and because his consistently low performance scores placed him on the Bad Managers list back in April 2014,” the document said in relaying Yahoo’s arguments.

Anderson, however, has submitted material to the court that contradicts the claim that he was a poor manager. A March 2013 letter to Anderson from Mayer referred to his “incredible contributions and hard work” in awarding him 3,000 shares of the firm’s restricted stock.

“Thank you for all you’ve done,” Mayer wrote, after Anderson had been with Yahoo for about three out of his four years there. “We are very excited to have you as part of the team.”

Ard worked at Yahoo for 3 1/2 years until he was sacked in January 2015. Yahoo, according to the court document, gave Ard the boot “due to his poor performance over the past few quarters, as reflected by his below average (quarterly performance review) scores, particularly for a senior manager, and because he was not providing sufficient value to the company as a senior director to make an impact at the company.”

The plaintiffs submitted a list of Ard’s quarterly performance review results, which show him receiving positive ratings up until September 2014. It was only for his last two quarters at Yahoo that he received negative results.

Yahoo contends that “Neither the facts, nor the statistical evidence, support plaintiffs’ claim that there was discrimination against men in the media organization where both plaintiffs worked.”

The case continues.


Photo: Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer, file)


Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Share this Post

  • JakiChan

    Given how subjective the QPR process was, low QPR scores don’t mean anything.

  • doubleducks

    Why is this a story? Given the preferential treatment to men for eternity, these male managers should be replaced by women. Where I work, all top level managers are women now. The men continue to be purged. Everything runs like clockwork because women are better with people and are more progressive.

    • Peter

      I spotted a typo in your note. The last word should be “aggressive”.

    • gwilly

      Thank you. You just made their case.

    • Gerry Allen

      Doubleducks…. You sound like a complete feminist, that is very biased and prejudice.

    • Clay Weisenberger

      “Women are better with people and are more progressive.” So it’s okay for women to run down men with stereotypes, but for a man to say something like, “men are physically stronger than women” would create an uproar. Fu*king hypocrite.

    • Marc S

      Feminism is a form of societal cancer.

    • Me

      profits decline like clockwork..
      productivity declines like clockwork..
      debt increases like clockwork..

      But there are weekly meetings where everybody can sit around can cry about how evil men are.. so it’s worth it.

  • bobsmith

    Every quarter of Marissa Mayer time as CEO she performed in the bottom 5% of CEOs how much did she get paid in the buyout?

  • Canyon MIke

    It’s only sexism if males do it. Right?

  • Marc S

    Feminism is cancer.

  • Antionette Ravensgurl

    I guess I can see which way the writer wants this to lean. Facts are.. we dont know why or what method was used on the women who are now in place were chosen. We havent seen the report on the rest of the male employee ratings. We also havent seen if there is a systemic issue regarding women getting better scores just because they are women which means more than a performance sheet would need to be reviewed.. Like actually goals accomplished instead. I dont count the men out. Women have been doing this for a long time in the Nursing field. Its just now spreading.

  • omegatalon

    Silicon Valley is a great place to work; but some of these companies are like Nazis as you’ve got to goosestep in following them or you’re fired as the days of independent thought are over and a prime example is Apple as they’ve not had a single new idea since Steve Jobs died as Apple iPhone and iPad get faster and the size changes.. except there are no new products because who wants to say something wrong and results in your termination as it’s better to stay in the safety of the woodwork and white noise.

  • sandar

    Well, boohoo, now you know what women have had to deal with. Maybe if you are pretty, dress really cute and make a good cup of coffee you can be their secretary!
    I have to add that many male managers are really great managers and do not play that game. They are very professional in the workplace.

  • JW

    We all get older and the bosses get younger.
    Deal with it…. no one is immune.
    Geez…. this is how the real world looks
    I need a SAFE space !!!!!!!!