Pando

“I respect who she is and how she is but also what she represents” Max Levchin’s defense of Marissa Mayer

By Sarah Lacy , written on July 6, 2016

From The Pandoland 2016 Desk

We’ve posted a few clips of our PandoLand interview with Max Levchin-- a crowd favorite-- but here’s the entire thing.

We got into a lot: What he loved about immigrating to the mid-west instead of a coast, his views on his close friend and former co-founder Peter Thiel serving as a delegate for Donald Trump, why he jumped back into the financial services world with Affirm, and how his political views have changed as he’s aged and become a father.

We also discussed Yahoo, where Levchin served on the board. He’s finally able to speak candidly about the experience and noted in the interview he was saying things he wouldn’t have been able to six months ago.

Among other points, he gave one of the best defenses of Marissa Mayer I’ve heard. He said he joined the board because of his respect for her. “I respect who she is and how she is but also what she represents,” he said. “She gave birth to twins and  then traded emails with me about a feature of a product she was launching in a week… and that’s not out of character.”

He explains the “broken system” she inherited, what his advice was for her and why he finally left.

He’s exactly right. You can agree or disagree with his statements. I agree she inherited a broken system, which is why I argued she was insane to take the job at the time. But I also agree that what she represents is remarkable and the dignity with which she’s endured hatred, revolts, and haters amid a massive job at home and at work is insanely admirable.