Marissa Mayer is leaving Google today, and will take over as Yahoo’s President and CEO as of tomorrow. The 37-year-old Mayer was Google’s 20th employee and has been responsible for a number of Google products over the years. Most recently, she oversaw development of Google’s local products and services.
Yahoo has struggled to find a leader in recent years, going through several CEOs including Carol Bartz, Scott Thompson and the current interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn.
The news comes via CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and was shared via a pair of tweets just now.
BREAKING- Sorkin: Yahoo names Marissa Mayer President & CEO of Yahoo; Mayer started talking to $YHOO in June about role, starts tomorrow.
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 16, 2012
(More) BREAKING- Sorkin: After being named Yahoo Pres. & CEO Marissa Mayer, a 13-yr Google employee, expected to resign from Google today.
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 16, 2012
We’ve reached out to Google and Yahoo for more information and will update this story as we hear more.
Postscript: The news is being reported in more detail by Sorkin and Evelyn M. Rusli on the New York Times website. The article quotes Mayer as follows:
In an interview, Ms. Mayer said she “had an amazing time at Google,” where she has worked for the past 13 years, but that ultimately “it was a reasonably easy decision” to take the top job at Yahoo. She said Yahoo is “one of the best brands on the Internet.”
She recalled that when she first started at Google, the company would conduct user surveys and “people didn’t understand the difference between Yahoo and the Internet.” She said she hoped “to get focused on creating a really great user experiences” and to attract new talent from Silicon Valley to the company. “Talent is what drives technology companies,” she said. Some of Ms. Mayer’s mentees at Google include Bret Taylor, the chief technology officer at Facebook, and Brian Rakowski, the vice president in charge of Google Chrome and the product manager who launched Gmail.
Mayer is quoted later in the article as saying that Yahoo’s search partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine “has been a positive for the company.”
Yahoo co-founder David Filo is also quoted in the article, saying that Mayer’s hiring will help Yahoo focus on many of the same things she helped Google with over the years:
“In the last few years, given the turnover, there has been a lack of attention on the user experience,” David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo, who still works at the company, said in an interview on Monday. “We need to get back to basics.”
Postscript 2: Yahoo has now issued a news release with official confirmation of the move. Here’s the entire text of the company’s announcement.
Yahoo! Appoints Marissa Mayer Chief Executive Officer
SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced that it has appointed Marissa Mayer as President and Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors effective July 17, 2012. The appointment of Ms. Mayer, a leading consumer internet executive, signals a renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue for one of the world’s largest consumer internet brands, whose leading properties include Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Mobile, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Search.
Mayer said, “I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users. I look forward to working with the Company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world.”
Most recently, Mayer was responsible for Local, Maps, and Location Services for Google, the company’s suite of local and geographical products including Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile. Mayer joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employee and led efforts for many of Google’s most recognizable products, including the development of its flagship search product and iconic homepage for over 10 years. Mayer managed some of Google’s most successful innovations, launching more than 100 features and products including image, book and product search, toolbar, iGoogle, Google News, and Gmail — creating much of the “look and feel” of the Google user experience.
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. I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo’s product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors.”
“The Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Marissa’s unparalleled track record in technology, design, and product execution makes her the right leader for Yahoo! at this time of enormous opportunity,” said Fred Amoroso, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Mayer received her B.S. in Symbolic Systems and her M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, specializing in artificial intelligence for both degrees. She is credited as an inventor on several patents in artificial intelligence and interface design.
“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.
Yahoo! is a technology-powered media company, creating deeply personal digital experiences that keep more than half a billion people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the globe. Yahoo!’s unique combination of Science + Art + Scale connects advertisers to the consumers who build their businesses. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.net) or the company’s blog, Yodel Anecdotal (yodel.yahoo.com).
Marissa Mayer Biographical Information
Marissa Mayer was most recently Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services at Google where she oversaw product management, engineering, design and strategy for the company’s suite of local and geographical products, including Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile. She also curated the Google Doodle program, celebrating special events on Google’s homepage around the world.
During her 13 years at Google, Marissa held numerous positions, including engineer, designer, product manager, and executive, and launched more than 100 well-known features and products. She played an instrumental role in Google search, leading the product management effort for more than 10 years, a period during which Google Search grew from a few hundred thousand to well over a billion searches per day. Marissa led the development of some of Google’s most successful services including image, book and product search, toolbar, and iGoogle, and defined such pivotal products as Google News and Gmail. She is listed as an inventor on several patents in artificial intelligence and interface design.
Joining as the company’s first female engineer in 1999, Marissa played an important role in developing Google’s culture. Her contributions included overseeing the look-and-feel of the company’s iconic homepage and founding the Associate Product Manager program, which has hired over 300 of the company’s future leaders and is considered the industry’s ideal standard in transforming new computer science graduates into executive leaders.
Prior to joining Google, Marissa worked at the UBS research lab in Zurich, Switzerland and at SRI International in Menlo Park, California. She graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and a M.S. in Computer Science. For both degrees, she specialized in artificial intelligence. While at Stanford, she taught computer programming to more than 3000 students and received the Centennial Teaching and Forsythe Awards for her contributions to undergraduate education. In 2008, the Illinois Institute of Technology awarded her an honorary doctorate of engineering.
She has been honored with the Matrix Award by the New York Women in Communications, as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and as “Woman of the Year” by Glamour magazine. For four years running, Fortune has named her one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, including when at age 33 she was the youngest woman ever included on the list.
Marissa serves on the board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. She is also on the board of various non-profits, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet, and the New York City Ballet.
Yahoo! is the trademark and/or registered trademark of Yahoo! Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Postscript 3: Google has issued a statement via email from CEO Larry Page:
“Since arriving at Google just over 13 years ago as employee #20, Marissa has been a tireless champion of our users. She contributed to the development of our Search, Geo, and Local products. We will miss her talents at Google.”
Postscript 4: See our related stories:
- Mayer’s Appointment Brings Hopes For Stability In Yahoo CEO Role
- Google Reacts: Mayer ‘Whip-Smart’ & ‘A Tireless Champion Of Our Users’
- Ironically, Search Might Be Less A Priority At Yahoo As Google’s Marissa Mayer Takes The Helm