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What work-at-home ban? CFO says Yahoo quality of life never better

February 27, 2013|By Jessica Guynn
  • Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's new ban on working from home did not come up during an investor conference on Wednesday. Yahoo Chief Financial Officer Ken Goldman said the quality of life for Yahoo employees had never been better.
Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's new ban on working from home… (Peter Kramer / NBC )

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ken Goldman wasn't working at home on Wednesday.

Yahoo's chief financial officer was working the room at a Morgan Stanley investment conference, making a forceful case that Marissa Mayer is improving the quality of life at Yahoo.

He did not directly acknowledge –- nor did anyone ask about -- the elephant in that room: Yahoo's ban on telecommuting, which has sparked a national uproar. Mayer, the former Google executive charged with reviving the fortunes of the struggling Internet pioneer, has given Yahoo employees an ultimatum: show up at the office or lose your job.

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Yahoo sought to contain the controversy on Tuesday by issuing a written statement: "This isn't a broad industry view on working from home -- this is about what is right for Yahoo right now."

Without mentioning the new policy, Goldman painted an upbeat picture of life at Yahoo with parking lots filling up early in the morning and staying full in the evening. He said it used to be hard for Yahoo to buy young start-ups and when it did, it had to pay a premium. Now "people want to come to Yahoo," Goldman said.

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Goldman credited the company's decisive "strong leadership" for boosting employee morale.

"The worst thing to do in a company is to waffle," he said.

He allowed that some people don’t care for some of the decisions being made (aside from the free food and iPhones).

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