Google top exec Marissa Mayer to take CEO helm at Yahoo!

17 Jul 2012

New Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. Image from her Facebook page

Yahoo! has appointed long-time Google technology executive Marissa Mayer as its new CEO. On her Google+ profile, Mayer relayed her excitement about taking over as Yahoo! chief.

The New York Times was apparently the first to break the news that Mayer, who has been with Google since its early days, is to take the top spot at Yahoo! in a move that will make her one of the hot shots in Silicon Valley and indeed in corporate America.

In a Yahoo! statement Mayer said: “I am honoured and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the internet’s premier destinations for more than 700m users. I look forward to working with the company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalised experiences to users and advertisers all around the world.”

Mayer (37) was born in Wausau, Wisconsin. She received her bachelor of science in symbolic systems and her master of science in computer science from Stanford University, specialising in artificial intelligence for both degrees.

Mayer joined Google in 1999 as employee No 20. According to reports, she was the first female to be hired at Google.


‘I’m incredibly excited to start my new role at Yahoo! tomorrow … ‘ posted Mayer on her Google+ profile

Mayer has been responsible for the layout of some of Google’s most recognisable products – think the search giant’s homepage, Google Images and Gmail. More recently, Mayer was responsible for Local, Maps, and Location Services for Google, as well as company’s suite of local and geographical products, including Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile.

Fortune magazine has placed Mayer in its annual list of America’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Yahoo! co-founder David Filo spoke about Mayer’s vision and experience.

“Marissa is a well-known visionary leader in user experience and product design and one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting strategists in technology development. I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo’s product offerings for our more than 700m unique monthly visitors,” he said.

And Mayer herself had this to say about her new move: “Yahoo!’s products will continue to enhance our partnerships with advertisers, technology and media companies, while inspiring and delighting our users. There is a lot to do and I can’t wait to get started.”

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic