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Yahoo CEO Search Ends with Search Pioneer Marissa Mayer
Yahoo CEO Search Ends with Search Pioneer Marissa Mayer

By Jennifer LeClaire
July 16, 2012 3:34PM

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"This is a big opportunity for her," said analyst Greg Sterling of new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. "To some degree she follows in the footsteps of Sheryl Sandberg and Tim Armstrong, who are running other major Internet companies. There's no reason to believe she's got a magic formula for Yahoo but she's also very smart and may do some interesting deals."

Yahoo on Monday announced what some may call a coup, wooing one of Google's most talented execs to its ranks. Yahoo named Marissa Mayer as president and CEO.

Mayer is well known as one of the industry's leading consumer Internet executives. By bringing Mayer on board, Yahoo is sending a clear signal: The company is going to push as hard as it can to innovate new products and drive user experience and ad revenue for its properties. Yahoo properties include Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Mobile, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo Search.

"I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo, one of the Internet's premier destinations for more than 700 million users," Mayer said. "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."

A User Experience Guru

At Google, Mayer was most recently responsible for Local, Maps, and Location Services for Google, which includes Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View and local search, for both 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 more than 10 years.

Mayer also 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. Indeed, Mayer created much of the "look and feel" of the Google user experience as users know it today.

"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," said Yahoo co-founder David Filo. "I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo's product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors."

A Provocative Choice

We turned to Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his thoughts on Yahoo's newest CEO. He told us Mayer was a surprise choice but a provocative one for Yahoo.

Although Sterling is surprised that Yahoo made the move, he is not surprised by Mayer's departure from Google. As he sees it, she's probably done everything she can at Google and has hit a glass ceiling of sorts.

"This is a big opportunity for her. To some degree she follows in the footsteps of Sheryl Sandberg and Tim Armstrong, who are running other major Internet companies. There's no reason to believe she's got a magic formula for Yahoo but she's also very smart and may do some interesting deals in her new role," Sterling said.

"She faces the same uphill battle to revive Yahoo also confronted by Carol Bartz, Scott Thompson and Ross Levinsohn in their brief tenures. But in many ways she may be the most well rounded of the group: tech savvy and ad savvy."

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.

Tell Us What You Think


Citizen Bob:

Posted: 2012-07-17 @ 4:48am PT
Marisa, you give people like my daughter hope! Go Marissa!!


Posted: 2012-07-16 @ 5:18pm PT
Great news. Yahoo! finally does something right. This stock is a screaming buy.

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