Longtime Google Exec Marissa Mayer Is Yahoo’s New CEO
Marissa Mayer, the technology executive who has worked at Google since the search company’s earliest days, has been appointed CEO of Yahoo.
The news was first reported by the New York Times. The company has confirmed the appointment in a press release, which is embedded in full below.
Mayer’s first day will be tomorrow, which is also when Yahoo’s next quarterly earnings call is slated to take place.
It’s been a tough few years for Yahoo — and its last CEO Scott Thompson departed under less than ideal terms — so the appointment of Mayer is clearly meant to be a fresh start for the long-running Silicon Valley company.
There’s no question that Marissa Mayer is certainly a catch for Yahoo. After receiving a B.S. in symbolic systems and her M.S. in computer science from Stanford (no fudged engineering credentials here) she started at Google in 1999 as the company’s 20th employee and its first female engineer. Since then she has stayed on with the company and served as one of its most public faces, making appearances on the tech conference circuit, network television morning shows, evening newscasts such as Charlie Rose, and even as a frequent TechCrunch Disrupt judge.
That this news is surprising is an understatement — it’s fair to say that most people in tech did not see this coming from a mile away. But when you dig into it, it makes sense. Most recently, it had appeared that Mayer’s role at Google had been scaled back a bit. As part of a Google re-organization some 18 months ago, she moved from a role as VP of search product to a somewhat lower-visibility role as VP of location and local services. With that job change, she was shifted off of Google’s highest strata of executives, according to people familiar with the company.
These shifts may have made her a bit more open to considering new offers — and made an opportunity like this too attractive to pass up. Yahoo’s luster may be a bit faded, but it is still a major, publicly-traded company. It will be very exciting to see what Mayer brings to the table as CEO.
While quite a few others that I follow in the tech-space believe this to be a career-killing move for Mayer, I suspect otherwise. I have seen Mayer speak and she is definitely a very smart individual. I do not believe that she would have taken a position like this with a company in need of serious help without having a very good idea of what she wants to do and a green light from the board to do it.