Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer has brought a lot of buzz to the troubled Internet firm. But along with it, she also appears to be bringing a new allegiance when it comes to who Yahoo’s top leader is backing in this fall’s presidential election.
Mayer, who was tapped earlier this week as Yahoo’s new chief, has been a prolific political donor, giving primarily to Democrats including President Obama. During the current campaign cycle, she has given a total of $5,000 to Obama’s reelection fund — the maximum amount she can donate — according to Federal Election Commission data. In addition, Mayer gave $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund political action committee, which is providing funds to state Democratic committees in about a half-dozen battlegrounds, such as New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia. The former Google executive also has given $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee.
Mayer is the third person to serve as Yahoo’s CEO within the last year. She succeeds Scott Thompson, who stepped down in May after only a few months on the job when it was revealed he had lied on his résumé. During his brief stint, he did not make any political donations. But Carol Bartz, Thompson’s predecessor as CEO, was an early backer of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Bartz, who was fired from Yahoo in September, donated $2,500 to Romney’s campaign in May 2011.
While Silicon Valley leans Democratic, there are other tech CEOs who also favor Romney, who ran the private-equity firm Bain Capital before entering into politics. Cisco chief executive John Chambers, a well-known Republican, gave $50,000 earlier this year to the pro-Romney PAC Restore Our Future, while Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, the 2010 GOP candidate for California governor, gave $100,000 to Restore Our Future in January. And legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has given $100,000 to Restore Our Future and $2,500 to Romney’s campaign.
Still, many other tech CEOs , including Whitman’s successor at eBay, John Donahoe, are backing Obama. Like Mayer, Donahoe has given the maximum $5,000 donation to Obama and an additional $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, as did Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, a well-known Obama supporter.
Both Google CEO Larry Page and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have yet to give to either Obama or Romney. However, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, a former Treasury official in the Clinton administration, is backing Obama: She has given $5,000 to Obama’s campaign and an additional $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund PAC.