TODAY | October 05, 2012
>>> back now at 7:34 with a picture getting a lot of attention. marissa mayer , yahoo !'s ceo and brand new mom on the cover of a magazine but choosing not to pose while pregnant. nbc's ann thompson has more on this.
>> reporter: when you become the leader of a high-profile company like yahoo ! criticism comes with the territory, but when you add being the first pregnant woman to be named ceo of a fortune 500 company, you'll understand why every move marissa mayer makes reverberates with more than just yahoo !'s shareholders.
>>> it is a great photo. marissa mayer on the cover of the most recent issue of "for tune" magazine looking professional, elegant and trim, and to some moms on the internet that's the problem because mayer just gave birth to her first child this week.
>> of course, pregnancy doesn't define her, but it is so much a part of her story, and it's so much -- it's a big part of the reason why we look up to her, and i was surprised that they didn't show her, you know, pregnant and in a power suit .
>> reporter: a "fortune" spokesperson confirms the magazine wanted to shoot mayer for the cover when she was pregnant but she declined. the magazine used a photo taken almost a year ago.
>> we're not all demi moore .
>> reporter: " huffington post " said too much is being made of the cover.
>> why should she pose nine months pregnant? she doesn't stand for all women. doesn't have to represent us all the time.
>> reporter: as mayer rose through the ranks at google, she never publicly shied away from setting an example.
>> i think what women in technology really need is role models and inspiration.
>> reporter: talking in 2008 about google's maternity leave policy.
>> i mean, we basically said a baby should have their parent at home for six weeks, three months, should be standard from the child's point of view which ultimately means it's a really supportive environment for women but doesn't necessarily mean special treatment for women.
>> reporter: yahoo ! hired mayer as its ceo in july knowing that she was pregnant. when mayer gave birth sunday, a yahoo ! spokeswoman told the "new york times" mayer plans to be back in the office within one to two weeks. that, too, is generating flack.
>> we should be sending a message that women need more maternity leave . they need better benefits and need more time. they need a workplace that understands that this is a period of time that women need to be with a baby.
>> all this criticism could make the corner office look real good to mayer .
>> mommies are hard on each other, very tough. she will get a lot of criticism for everything she does while being a mommy.
>> reporter: now nbc news reached out to yahoo ! for comments but did not hear back. mayer and her husband zachary bogue are also looking for help to name their son and that, too is generating controversy, reportedly sending out an e-mail to family and friends asking for suggestions. now in the business world, mayer will ultimately be judged on her ability to turn yahoo ! around, and that's a big job. its stock price has fallen 40% in the last five years.
>> there's a woman who has a lot on her plate.
>> give her a break, right?
>> give her a break, i'm with you on that one. anne thompson , thank you.