FORTUNE -- For the first time since the FDA came down hard on 23andMe for marketing its DNA tests without proper approvals, founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki spoke about "the big challenge," as she called the firestorm, in an exclusive interview with Fortune.
"We failed to communicate proactively," Anne Wojcicki told the Fortune audience of 100 women leaders. Now scrambling to comply with the FDA's demands, Wojcicki has stopped advertising 23andMe's $99 DNA test kits. Meanwhile, she's facing a class-action lawsuit that claims that her company's ads are misleading and the results of its genetic tests aren't supported by scientific evidence.
23andMe has plenty of financial backing to weather this storm: $126 million in funding from Google, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, among others. Nonetheless, this is a seriously tough period for one of Silicon Valley's rising star entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, Wojcicki separated from her husband, Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The couple has two children.
Elder sister Susan and their mother, Esther, who was in the audience Tuesday evening, are offering helpful advice. To solve any problems, Esther told her daughters, you need to break them down: "Big challenges are an accumulation of small challenges," Anne said she learned from her mother.
Susan Wojcicki sympathetically noted that the genetics industry is a lot like the Internet was 15 years ago—a Wild West where the rules are newly forming and pioneers are constantly scrutinized. "In some ways, both companies [Google and 23andMe] are doing things that have never been done before," Susan said.
For more on 23andMe's FDA challenge and my exclusive interview with the Wojcicki sisters, read my colleague Michal Lev-ram's post here.
FORTUNE -- Five months after Marissa Mayer quit Google (GOOG) to become the new CEO of Yahoo (YHOO), veteran Googler and SVP Shona Brown is leaving the company as well.
Brown, who joined Google from McKinsey in 2003, has remained as under the radar as Mayer floated above it. Highly analytical and introverted, Brown has spent the bulk of her Google career overseeing Business Operations—advising senior management on business strategy, organizational MOREPatricia Sellers - Dec 14, 2012 3:00 PM ET
So, Facebook (FB) knows how to grow. On Tuesday, the company that everyone loved to discount reported better-than-expected profits and a 32% increase in third-quarter revenue to nearly $1.3 billion. The stock is popping.
Substantial credit goes to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's No. 2, who has learned a thing or two about scaling businesses. When Sandberg joined her previous employer Google (GOOG) in 2001, that MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 24, 2012 10:59 AM ET
Meet her impressive new hires.
FORTUNE -- More than just importing Google (GOOG) culture -- free food! free smartphones! -- to Yahoo (YHOO), CEO Marissa Mayer is bringing in Google talent too. On Monday, which was Mayer's first day back since delivering a baby boy September 30, Yahoo announced the appointment of Henrique de Castro as COO. De Castro is one of several recruits whom Mayer used to work with at MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 16, 2012 12:28 PM ET
Mayer - No. 3 on the 40 Under 40 - is changing the culture and welcoming new faces to the troubled web company. But this new chief (and new mom) has miles to go before she sleeps.
FORTUNE -- On a Friday morning in late August, six weeks into her new job as CEO of Yahoo (YHOO), Marissa Mayer was brainstorming about how to make the company innovative again. She became MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 11, 2012 8:18 AM ET
FORTUNE -- One of this year's Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs multitasks in Hollywood. She's a movie star.
Another 2012 MPW Entrepreneur just sold her company to Google (GOOG) for a reported $350 million.
Another winner, nominated by Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg, sold her company to LinkedIn (LNKD) for $119 million this year.
These three startup queens are Jessica Alba of The Honest Co., Victoria Ransom of Wildfire Interactive, and Rashmi Sinha MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 31, 2012 9:00 AM ET
Real power is personal power—what you do beyond your official job description.
As I've come to know the leaders who make up Fortune's Most Powerful Women community, I've embraced this kind of power. It makes work more than a job.
CEOs like Ursula Burns of Xerox (XRX), Tory Burch, Ellen Kullman of DuPont (DD), Marissa Mayer of Yahoo (YHOO), and Pat Woertz of ADM (ADM) are those sorts of leaders who go beyond the call, stretching MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 9, 2012 1:33 PM ET
One day in late June, before anyone knew that Marissa Mayer would become the new CEO of Yahoo (YHOO), the 37-year-old Google (GOOG) vice president hosted another young tech star at Google's Silicon Valley headquarters.
Mayer's visitor was Meredith Perry, a 22-year-old University of Pennsylvania grad who had cold-emailed Mayer with an investment opportunity: Perry had discovered a way to wirelessly charge cell phones and other electronic devices by transmitting ultrasound MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 30, 2012 10:26 AM ET
FORTUNE -- As we noted yesterday, Yahoo's new chief Marissa Mayer is the youngest CEO in the Fortune 500. Mayer's appointment means that the Fortune 500 now has 20 female CEOs, a new record. Here's the list:
10. Meg Whitman - Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
19. Ginni Rometty - IBM (IBM)
28. Patricia Woertz - Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
41. Indra Nooyi - PepsiCo (PEP)
45. Angela Braly - WellPoint (WLP)
50. Irene Rosenfeld - Kraft Foods (KFT)
72. MOREColleen Leahey, Reporter - Jul 18, 2012 9:30 AM ET
New Yahoo (YHOO) chief executive Marissa Mayer is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. At 37, she displaces her former boss, 39-year-old Google (GOOG) CEO Larry Page.
Mayer is also the youngest woman ever to make the Fortune Most Powerful Women list. In 2008, at 33, she locked down the No. 50 spot -- and rose to No. 38 on the 2011 MPW list.
Though Mayer has famously described herself (again MOREColleen Leahey, Reporter - Jul 17, 2012 3:14 PM ET
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