TODAY

TODAY   |  February 27, 2013

KLG: Yahoo CEO has right to ban telecommuting

Did KLG spill the beans of the gender of Kim Kardashian’s baby? Was Marissa Mayer has right to ban working from home? TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb talk about the hottest topics of the day.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> hey, everybody, we're so glad you're with us on this rainy, dismal, but exciting wines day wednesday, february 27th .

>> kind of an icky day in new york today.

>> we live in an old house, even older than frank and me, not put together but pretty old. and i thought it's not going to make it through this one last night.

>> really windy.

>> i thought it was going to come down last night.

>> if you ever come to new york and go up in one of those high-rises.

>> or live in one like you do.

>> like we live. you do too.

>> not that much.

>> you can really hear it creaking and swaying. and it's a little scary.

>> built to do that. but you have to keep reminding yourself.

>> we have something we need to clear up from yesterday. apparently you made news by blurting something out.

>> i didn't blurt anything. you can only blurt something you know. i didn't know this.

>> well, here's what happened. yesterday you guys remember we were talking about kim and kanye being photographed on the cover of that french magazine. and then we discussed that kim was having a baby. and kathie said --

>> you think i confirmed she is having a girl.

>> because you said in four months she is having a girl.

>> let's look at what we said. we actually have it --

>> don't say we. what you said. this is what she said.

>> are you talking to me? [ no audio ]

>> well, we didn't hear that either. hopefully you heard that at home.

>> did you hear it? what you said --

>> allegedly --

>> you said -- you didn't say it as a straight-out fact.

>> because i don't know.

>> you said "i think."

>> i read it like everybody else in the papers early this week. so i don't know --

>> that was not independently confirmed by one of your -- sources.

>> no, no, no. i had lunch with chris. i told you that. but we didn't talk about the baby and she didn't mention the sex.

>> okay. so we don't know. that's what we're going on record saying. so there's a big controversy a-brewing. marissa mayer is the ceo of yahoo! and has been there for seven months and made news for a couple reasons. went back to work after having a baby after a couple weeks and that caught people off guard because it's unusual to happen. but she had been wanting this job for a long time and wanted to get in the saddle, there she was. she made an announcement she is going to ban working from home among the employees at yahoo!.

>> right.

>> and that caused a lot of --

>> a stir?

>> a stir, yeah. because a lot of people rely on working from home to balance their life. you know. because they have obligations and kids. i guess she says people work better when they're face-to-face and she wants a lot of interaction, wants people around one another, et cetera , et cetera . but a lot of people are very, very upset, because people need to work from home . because they have other obligations, and --

>> there was a time when nobody worked from home unless you were a farmer. and then you worked at your farm. so a lot of people don't remember that that was the norm. that was very much the norm. and this is a new phenomenon going on in the workplace.

>> and it's making it so a lot of people who have families and things like that can balance and work together.

>> yes.

>> it's caused a big stir. and your thoughts on the stir?

>> well, i have mixed emotions on this. because, you know how i feel about trying to be fair to every -- to everybody involved. she's worked very long and very hard and she's to become a ceo. she is one of only 20 women in the country that are women ceos. so i think for all of us as women she would be grateful that some of them have -- gotten through that ceiling and are actually working at ceos. very makes an awful lot of money. she has won $117 million over the next five years. so --

>> big salary.

>> but here's the point. she didn't start out as a ceo. she started out like everybody else , you know, working her way up. so she as now a ceo -- i don't think we would be having this discussion at all if she weren't a woman. because what was it, jack welch , what did he used to do at general electric ? he used to --

>> his mandate was he would cut the bottom 10% because he said the bottom 10% weren't as productive so number one, they didn't really fit in the company right and said they would be happier elsewhere because they should be doing better than they are.

>> yeah. so i think it's right as a ceo to run her company the way she thinks it's best run, because she is beholden to the shareholders. it's a public company . so i respect that. the stock, when she started was $16.64 a share. today it's up 33%. to $21 a share. so if you're a shareholder, you say, i like what she's doing with our company. if you happen to be somebody that's gotten used to having that time at home, you don't like it. i can see it from everybody's perspective. but the truth is, she has the right to make that choice. to benefit her company.

>> i think if you're -- i think the whole thing is, you should -- employees work the best when they're happy. okay? and some people are, you know -- you feel like someone trusts you. if you feel like, look, i'm not a good work from home person. i'm not good at it, i'll admit it, i'm on the phone, and i watch soaps. other people work.

>> " days of our lives ."

>> mom, are you watching marlena, i got into it. others are good at working from home . it shows a trust. here's a thing. if the productivity is down because people are working from home and there is an issue there. but if there are people who are very productive in their house and don't have to commute, which makes an hour sometimes back and forth -- two hours.

>> of course.

>> where you could be working.

>> all good, good points.

>> there are a lot of good reasons. and i think to make a blanket statement like now we're no longer having that policy and don't you think other companies will look at that going maybe that works.

>> she has got to be vince lombardi and say this is my football field , my team. there are reports that there was a lot of slacking off at yahoo! a lot of waste, a lot -- and she is trying to get her ship in shape. i'm not saying it's a choice i would make. i think i would have liked to have gone to everybody and said, listen, you guys, we've got a big problem with slacking off. i'm going to give you guys an opportunity. this is what our tammy would do. of course -- tamsville.

>> we want to point out tammy is the head of our show, female head of our show. people were writing in yesterday, and this is going off point for a second. because another guy who works here named davy was telling us to wrap the show up. dave doesn't run the show . dave is a guy who points at us. and tells us -- okay? tammy runs the show, and dave sleeps through it.

>> he points -- really, really well. he's told by somebody in our control booth , you know -- it's time to go. we've got to wrap. so our female ceo right here, tammy , runs our ship. but i do think --

>> and she runs it extremely well, and she as a working mom says a day i get to work at home means a great deal to me much.

>> i know it does. but steve birk, who is our ceo here at comcast, could say yes or no to the fact that she could do that. that's why you're a ceo.

>> but --

>> you take the blame when things go wrong and you take a lot of money when things go well.

>> if seems to me if somebody is productive at home, why shouldn't they work at home ?

>> the ceo --

>> how does she know what everybody is doing?

>> maybe she does. how do we know what she knows?

>> i know what she knows. so -- that's what i like to say i know.

>> i do know one thing, people work really, really hard and two-income families and it's getting harder and harder to make ends meet. and i feel for everybody. but, you know, we live in a world where there's a certain system in place. and it's -- it may not seem fair to people. but --

>> but the funny thing --

>> she put in the hours or else she really slept her way up to the top. i don't know. even that way, honey, you pay. you know what i'm saying?

>> the thing about an internet company , part of what was so magical about those companies are, you could work from different places. people talked about that. that's what made internet companies so cool and hip and neat. you could take your laptop, you could go outside, go in your home.

>> but this world is evolving. you and i can't do our job from home.

>> no, but i'm talking about her people and her job. that was part of the appeal of the internet.

>> and they were losing in the marketplace. their company was going into the toilet. she had to do something.

>> i just wonder if that was the thing to do. i'm just saying. and i know a lot of other people who work from home , from other companies are nervous that if my company does that, i'm scared.

>> well --

>> because if my child has a sniffly nose and can't get into daycare, i don't want to call a babysitter and try to figure out how to work it all out.

>> i feel for everybody.

>> i like yelling. just getting louder and louder.

>> everybody forgets that feminism started out about choice. we said we want the same choices men have. we want it, we want equality in the workplace. and everybody loves feminism until somebody makes a choice that's different from the one you would make. well --

>> i'm not saying her choice is right, hoda. i'm saying she has the right to make it. she is the head of that, and she is answerable to that board of directors and all of her shareholders.

>> and her employees.

>> and her employees. but they have the choice to leave if they would like to --

>> no, they don't.

>> you can leave a job. this is not a gulag.

>> you can leave a job, but where are you going? there is a terrible economy. you have to stay. you have no kmois choice. trapped, dropped. nowhere to go.

>> like we are.

>> just like we are. trapped.

>> i'm not trapped, baby. maybe you feel that way. but i don't feel trapped. i feel grateful to have a job.

>> i do too.

>> grateful to make a living.

>> grateful --

>> grateful i'm not trapped.

>> okay.

>> you notice not trapped by facial hair anymore. and please don't e-mail like i don't care about people. it is not about that at all. it is not about that. i do. and i wish things were perfect for everybody. they're not. and i'm just trying to be fair.

>> i know you are. but let's talk about something trivial that doesn't matter. okay. ben affleck 's beard.

>> as the country goes into the toilet, sure.

>> this is very important, though. because do you think he looked fetching with his beard?

>> i really like ben affleck , i think he's incredibly talented, not my type and i'm sure jennifer garner is going to be so thrilled to know i'm not a threat. but i like him without the beard best.

>> me too. i do too. this is what -- these are different levels. that's the full beard from "argo," that's the scruffy look in the middle and the other is plain. we actually did a klg and hoda.com poll.

>> because we thought it was important.

>> that's what we poll on. we didn't poll on the other thing. we polled on this. apparently most people like him clean-shaven.

>> yes. and everybody made a big thing about -- sorry. phlegm. george clooney -- ahhh!

>> gross.

>> fry the fish! no, that george clooney -- stop waving to us. no, no, we're just going to say no. george clooney has got a beard for a role that he's about to play. and we want to say, if you watch " top chef " you're familiar with quick-fire wines. it's the name of one of the challenges of the show and we are drinking it to celebrate their finale tonight.

>> tonight?

>> i've got -- this is not the chardonnay. we both have the pino noire.

>> they're duking it out, our boss and the guy who points at us.

>> tammy , ceo, what do you want us to do?

>> go to break?