Welcome to my final blog post on Postcards. I’m not going away. I’m inviting you to come with me to the new Fortune.com, which launches Monday, along with the release of the 2014 Fortune 500.
I’ll be writing regularly at Fortune‘s new digital home. Fortune.com will host all my stories, present and past (Fortune.com/author/patricia-sellers). And Fortune.com will give you daily news, exclusive video and rich explanatory graphics, as well as the deep analysis, unparalleled access and smart opinion that has long distinguished Fortune.
My goal in writing Postcards has been to help you understand how super-successful people navigate their lives and their careers. And upon this farewell, it’s fun to look back and see what grabbed readers the most.
No. 1, by measure of traffic: Carol Bartz exclusive: Yahoo “f—ed me over.” I’ll never forget sitting in my living room in September 2011 and getting a call from Bartz, on my cell, after the Yahoo YHOO board fired her. Thanks, Carol, for unloading to Fortune exclusively. The situation merited at least a few of your dozen expletives. And regardless of your failure to turn Yahoo around (many other smart people tried), no CEO deserves to get fired over the phone.
No. 2: Mark Zuckerberg’s new challenge: Eating only what he kills (and yes, we do mean literally). This was my most bizarre story on Postcards. During a visit to Silicon Valley in early 2011, I heard that the Facebook FB CEO had committed for one year to stop eating meat unless he did the slaughtering himself. I called Facebook PR, and after inevitable resistance, Zuck, to his credit, agreed to let me interview him by email. Zuckerberg was surprisingly candid and thoughtful about his odd dietary behavior. And while the post drew lots of snide comments about the young billionaire, the disclosure turned out to humanize him.
No. 3: Former Amazon star exec killed in bike accident. This was the saddest post I’ve ever had to write. Joy Covey died at age 50 last September in a cycling accident in the hills above Silicon Valley. Amazon’s first CFO who raised capital in the desperate early days and took the company public, Covey dropped out of corporate America and led a full and unconventional life. She was beloved by Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women community and beyond.
No. 4: New Yahoo CEO Mayer is pregnant. It was July 16, 2012. Three hours after Yahoo announced the hiring of Google GOOG executive Marissa Mayer as its new CEO, I was sitting down to dinner at Fortune‘s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen and, as I checked my phone, noticed three missed calls — Marissa Mayer…Marissa Mayer…Marissa Mayer. I excused myself, walked outside, and as soon as I reached Mayer, she said, “I saved a piece of today’s story.” Meaning? “I’m pregnant,” she revealed. Neither Mayer nor I grasped how huge and globally resonant this story would become. She was the first person ever to walk into a Fortune 500 CEO job pregnant. Other stories about Mayer — her baby’s name, her career advice, and Marissa Mayer: Ready to rumble at Yahoo, which appeared on Fortune‘s cover in October 2012 — make the list of the 20 popular Postcards.
No. 5: Guest Post: The Great Depression, as I remember. Wow. This guest post by my uncle, Walter Stoiber, appeared in 2009, and who could have imagine that it would go viral around the world? People love nostalgia, especially authentic stories about everyday life before most of us were alive. Uncle Walt, who lives in Ohio, just turned 97. He’s still an inspiration.
Many of my favorite Postcards are those that give helpful advice, along with provocative viewpoints on hot-button issues. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: Unedited fits that bill. This 2009 guest post is the first piece that Sandberg ever wrote about women and careers — and it’s the earliest version of her thinking that went into her best-seller, Lean In. “Don’t leave before you leave,” Sandberg says, advising young women to resist cutting back their career ambitions as they chase uncertain hopes and dreams.
I’ll sign off by linking to my best advice: Lessons from the world’s most successful people, published yesterday. This post sums up my five year’s of blogging and 30 years of writing about extraordinary people for Fortune magazine. If you promise to keep reading, I’ll keep writing. Thanks, and see you on the new Fortune.com.