Andrew Auernheimer (weev) wrote,
Andrew Auernheimer

A tale of two CEOs: misogyny, corporate governance, Carol Bartz, and Ellen Pao.

When Carol Bartz was at Autodesk, she took on responsibilities I would shy away from. Early in my career, I did PLC hacking for factory automation. It's maddeningly delicate work with little margin for error. Fuckups meant actual physical goods could be subtly damaged in large numbers. After a few months of increasing reliance on alcohol to quell the stress of spirals of statics and dynamics in my head and a potential lost centisecond or nudged millimeter I didn't seek another project and decided I would be in the direct e-mail marketing industry. Never again did I want to have anything to do with minute tolerances.

AutoCAD is software like that. People design actual physical objects tiny and great in it. If things go wrong in AutoCAD its customers would be furious. It's also a pretty feature rich piece of software. Carol Bartz learned all of it. The niche features few used, the scripting system, she grabbed people who knew the software well and made sure she knew every bit of it. She may not be from an engineering background, but she is damn sharp and knew that in software the details were everything. Everyone at Autodesk spoke highly of her. She was demanding, but thorough, and everyone at the company knew she was working just as hard as they were.

When Bartz arrived at Yahoo she applied that same methodical spirit. She delved into the features of every Yahoo product, and does Yahoo ever have a lot of products. It was a job of massive scope, just as Autodesk had been, and she did it well. She made a lot of tough decisions. Many of Yahoo's products had nearly no margin and no opportunity for growth. She cut them. Her work was good, and she was humble about it. Everyone said she was doing a better job than she said she was doing.

However, after years of bad management Yahoo had only one asset that was truly important: its partial stake in Alibaba. When Carol Bartz sat down to negotiate that, she acted the same as any man would have. Sitting opposite to her was Jack Ma, who has more traditional Chinese expectations about femininity. He despised Bartz, who is psychologically stronger than most male executives I've met and is foulmouthed and tolerates no bullshit. Pretty soon Yahoo was cut out of things at Alibaba entirely. The board moved to oust Bartz, and various investors used their sway with the press to construct a narrative of Bartz's incompetence to appease Ma. She was criticized quite viciously, and it made me angry to watch it happen.

The usual feminist antagonists in technology were not interested in the slightest. Criticizing a foreign minority for very real misogyny was never on the table.

When Ellen Pao arrived at Reddit, her resume consisted of no accomplishments. She was filing a frivolous lawsuit against her former employer, private equity firm Kleiner Perkins, for sexual harassment. The only reason she had the job at all was because Reddit investor and rival firm Andreessen Horowitz wanted to lend credence to that lawsuit. In the highly competitive world of private equity dealings, Andreessen Horowitz viewed a cowed, demoralized Kleiner as a less capable bidder for funding deals. They cared little about how she managed Reddit and Imgur. They just wanted her to look like executive material in front of a jury.

In contrast to Autodesk and Yahoo, Reddit is a very easy thing to run. I've run some reasonably large websites (Alexa top 1000 range) that consist solely of user-generated content. This is a job more up the alley of a dropout like me. Things can break in subtle ways and it won't matter. The world keeps turning, and a website audience will always come back after an hour's outage. No biggie. Had Pao done nothing but smoke pot and browse Reddit while she worked there, nobody would have despised her. Nobody would have remembered she existed.

In contrast to Carol Bartz's legendary meticulousness in regards to product, Ellen Pao didn't even learn to use Reddit's software properly. She, hilariously, once linked to a message in her private inbox in a public subreddit. Imagine someone so dumb that they post a link to their Gmail inbox on their Facebook wall. Pao was that person. Her reactions to the countless responses poking fun at her shows she didn't learn anything about her users either. She flew into a rage and called an engineer to shadowban all the commenters for her. The kind of users that inhabit Reddit care deeply about the free and open Internet. Pao showed herself to be a mad and petty empress, and this was the turning point where everyone decided that it was best if she were destroyed.

Reddit has rightly sent her packing, after she singlehandedly built up the strength of their only competitor Voat and made their users flee the website in droves. Despite such egregious incompetence, not only are the usual feminist antagonists fawning over her but mainstream media sources like the New York Times have completely rewritten articles about the issue to favor her over feminist backlash. If social capital was real money, Pao would be a sick piglet suckling at the teat of a welfare state. The contrast to the story of Carol Bartz is so dramatic that it fills me with a previously unimagined level of disgust for the technology industry's Marxist feminist squadrons. I vomit on the host of the Valley, and I hope they all die.

Carol Bartz got fucked over by Yahoo's board and made a scapegoat. In the history of female tech executives, she is the only one that could have truthfully played the sexism card and she didn't, probably to avoid being in the company of women like Ellen Pao. Carol Bartz is all class, and a typical example of the great American ingenuity that is rapidly fading from the world.

Ellen Pao is a degenerate, plain and simple. She is a typical example of why my former country is becoming an endless sewer. She is a fraud just like her husband, who stole a nine figure amount from the pensions of firefighters. They both belong in cages, like the zoo animals they are.
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