Yahoo appoints Google exec Mayer as new CEO
17 July 2012
Yahoo has named Google executive Marissa Mayer as its new president and chief executive.
At Google, Mayer headed Google’s suite for local and geographical products including Google Maps, Google Earth and Street View. Joining Google in 1999 as its twentieth employee, she has worked on the development of its search product and homepage as well as managing more than 100 features and products including iGoogle and Gmail.
Mayer, 37, was Google’s first female engineer and over the 13 years at the company held positions including engineer, designer, product manager and executive. She is listed as an inventor on several patents covering artificial intelligence and interface design. When commenting on her appointment, Yahoo co-founder David Filo said: “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”.
Mayer takes over from interim chief executive Ross Levinsohn who has been leading the internet company in the wake of Scott Thompson’s departure in May. Levinsohn, who had been tipped as a strong candidate for the role, is expected to stay with the online giant. While Mayer has declined to comment on her conversations with Levinsohn she has described him as “a phenomenal executive”.
Mayer will be the struggling internet company’s fifth chief executive, including two interim chief executives, in five years. In an exclusive interview with Fortune, she revealed that she is pregnant with her first child and that she expects her maternity leave to be “a few weeks long” with her working through it.
“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,” Mayer said.
Prior to working at Google, Mayer worked at the UBS research lab in Zurich, Switzerland. She also serves on the board of directors for Walmart and on the boards of various non-profits including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet and the New York City Ballet.
Yahoo is in the midst of a restructuring effort, initiated by Thompson who held the chief executive position from Janurary, to split into three separate divisions ‘Consumer’, ‘Technology’ and ‘Regions’ in order to streamline the business.
The company also recently called a truce with Facebook, striking a deal to share patents and call a halt to a lawsuit that had also been initiated under Thompson.
David Hing, London