Observer: Mayer's execution of work-from-home ban "cloddish"

(CBS News) Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer'sdecision to ban working from home has sparked fierce debate this week, between those who believe she attacking women in the workplace and at odds with Silicon Valley culture and those who believe she is simply doing what it takes to encourage collaboration and revive Yahoo's corporate culture.

Kara Swisher, co-executive editor of AllThingsD, was the first to report the story and published the leaked memo with Mayer's new edict on the technology blog.

Wednesday on "CBS This Morning," Swisher said she was not surprised by the reaction to the memo, knowing that it a "hot button issue" and that "the level of anger inside of Yahoo was so high."

"It's really blown up because I think it talks about women in the workplace," Swisher said before adding that "a lot of people in Silicon Valley" work from home and that Mayer could be up against "a looser culture in terms of work flexibility [in Silicon Valley]. ... So it hits a nerve with a lot of people," she added.

According to Swisher, however the real issue is Mayer's delivery of the "blanket edict." "She's kind of known for that. She was known for that at Google," Swisher explained.

And while many can agree that Mayer may have to take extreme or "stringent measures" to turn the struggling tech giant around, Swisher said the delivery of the news via the memo was "cloddish in its execution." It is a "very valid point that you have to have collaboration inside a company," Swisher allowed before adding that, "no other company in Silicon Valley does this ... they allow ... flexibility."

Mayer's potentially tone-deaf handling of the rule change further upset working mothers at Yahoo, Swisher said, because of "the nursery in the workplace that she's built," allowing her to better balance her role as a new CEO and a new mom -- a luxury most women do not have available to them at the office.

According to Swisher, the move came after Mayer seemed "very upset about people not being at the workplace and parking lots being empty."

"Apparently she told the meeting that she did a survey of the VPN usage of at-home people and they did not show up and she was mad about that," Swisher said, but added that Mayer did not necessarily have to "tarnish" work-at-home rules. "She could have just fired those people who weren't working from home."

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