Gawker reports that Google’s 19th employee, Marissa Mayer, is planning on ending her career with Google in 2009. Marissa Mayer is one of the most public figures that Google has ever had.
Gawker reports receiving word that someone overheard discussion from “Top Googlers” that Mayer will be leaving in 2009. Clearly, Mayer doesn’t need the job for money, but to have a Google without her would be weird – at least for me. Google has lost many major executives in the past, but if Mayer goes, would this be Google’s biggest loss? Right now, these are all rumors and Google has not commented on the Gawker story.
Postscript from Greg: Assuming the rumor is correct, Mayer’s potential departure is partly symbolic of the larger transition Google has been involved with in the past several years: from startup to major tech-media company. Google would lose an appealing spokesperson that helps “humanize” the company.
Sheryl Sandberg’s exit was probably more significant than would be Mayer’s, from an operational standpoint. But Mayer is much more high-profile figure within the search community and outside media.
Again, assuming the rumor is true, it will be interesting to see what choice she makes about what to do next with her life/career. She’s in her early 30s and reportedly doesn’t need money. She’s a part-time teacher and lecturer at Stanford University (her alma mater) today as well.