Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer responds to critics after showing up late to Cannes dinner

The Yahoo CEO said she apologised for her lateness and the event went well for the tech giant despite controversy

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The Independent Online

Yahoo's chief executive Marissa Mayer has responded to critics after she came under fire for oversleeping at an advertising festival in Cannes, insisting the event was productive and that she apologised for being late.

The 39-year old came under scrutiny earlier this week when it emerged that she overslept and kept a group of top advertisers waiting for nearly two hours at a dinner party organised by Interpublic Group, a major advertising holding group.

Mayer was supposed to meet with clients and give them an update on Yahoo's strategy under her watch. Instead, she fell asleep and, by the time she made it to her table, some of the guests, including IPG's CEO Michael Roth, had left.

"I think the dinner is unfortunate how much attention it’s gotten. I was late. I apologised to IPG at the time and in no way meant for it to be a slight to them," she told Bloomberg.

Mayer, who left Google for Yahoo while being six months pregnant in 2012, has previously been criticised for being too focused on technology and product development while lacking people skills.

But Mayer insisted the event went well for the company, which took part in 200 meetings in Cannes and insisted she'll make sure Yahoo is "well represented" in next year's edition.

In January, Mayer fired her chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, whom she persuaded to leave Google for Yahoo and was mainly responsible for advertising. Mayer has effectively taken over his duties with no direct replacement for de Castro announced so far.