Higher Power Marissa Mayer of Yahoo & More CEOs Who Talk to God (PHOTOS)
Laying out her priorities Tuesday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said, ‘For me, it’s God, family, and Yahoo, in that order.’ From the head of JetBlue to the devout chief of PepsiCo, see other chief executives who put religion first.
Laying out her priorities Tuesday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said, “For me, it’s God, family, and Yahoo, in that order.” From the head of JetBlue to the devout chief of PepsiCo, see other chief executives who put religion first.
Paul Zimmerman / Getty Images Marissa Mayer, Yahoo
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is full of surprises. She took over as CEO in July, when she was already six months pregnant. After giving birth, she returned to work after just two weeks of maternity leave. She has described her job as “really fun,” and since she took over, Yahoo’s stock price has gone up 18 percent. Asked at an event how she does it all, Mayer replied, “You have to ruthlessly prioritize,” adding, “And you know Vince Lombardi says, ‘In my life there are three things: God, family, and the Green Bay Packers, in that order.’ For me, it’s God, family, and Yahoo, in that order.” Stanley Leary / Chik-fil-a / AP Photo Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A
In 1967, S. Truett Cathy opened Chick-fil-A, which now brings in more than $4 billion in annual sales and is the 10th most popular fast food chain in America. He is also a devout Southern Baptist, and his company reflects his faith. The company’s “Corporate Purpose” is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward to all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A,” and the company is always closed on Sunday. But the current president and chief operating officer is his son, Dan Cathy, who
caused a stir after speaking out against gay marriage over the summer. “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about,” he said. Joe Raedle / Getty Images Tom Monaghan, Domino’s Pizza
Tom Monaghan founded Domino’s Pizza and then sold it for nearly $1 billion in 1998. During his tenure, he hired a Catholic priest to be the corporate chaplain and held Mass in a conference room at Domino’s headquarters. Since selling the company, he has donated much of his own money to conservative and anti-abortion rights causes. He also founded Ave Maria University and plans to build an Ave Maria town. Monaghan’s goal, he says, is “to get as many people into heaven as possible.”
David Neeleman, JetBlue
David Neeleman is a Mormon, has nine children, and doesn’t drink coffee. The man who founded JetBlue says his religion and, more important, his missionary work, taught him how to run a successful business. “People do a better job if they respect the leader of the company. I learned that on my mission—the value of people and how to truly appreciate them,” he has said. “My missionary experience obliterated class distinction for me. I learned to treat everyone the same.” Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
The PepsiCo CEO is a devout Hindu. Of her religious upbringing,
she has said: “Our house had a very large temple room, and my mother used to pray for three or four hours every morning. So the house was a deeply religious house, and every occasion of life and death was observed with great care and exacting standards.” Nooyi does not drink or smoke, and her Greenwich, Conn., home reportedly has a room set aside for praying. Lucas Jackson / Retuers / Landov Jeffrey Swartz, Timberland
Jeffrey Swartz, whose grandfather founded Timberland, sold the company in 2011 in a $2 billion deal. An Orthodox Jew, he reportedly wakes up at 4 a.m. each morning to read the Torah. “I can't show you the Scripture that relates to the rights of a worker, but I can show you text that insists upon treating others with dignity,”
he once said.
Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images Do Won Chang, Forever 21
After immigrating from South Korea,
Do Won and Jin Sook Chang founded Forever 21 in 1984. The brand now has 480 stores and annual sales of $3 billion. The couple are also born-again Christians who go to church at 5 a.m. on weekdays and print John 3:16 on the bottom of every Forever 21 bag. Danny Johnston / AP Photo John H. Tyson, Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods chairman John H. Tyson is a born-again Christian, and his company employs 120 chaplains to provide “compassionate pastoral care to Team Members and their families.”
Tyson has said: “My faith is just an ongoing evolution, trying to understand what faith in the marketplace looks like, giving people permission to live their faith seven days a week. If people can talk about the football game on Monday, why can’t they talk about their faith?”