Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo CEO

marissamayerLong-time Google executive Marissa Mayer has been named president and CEO of Yahoo. Google’s 20th employee resigned from Google yesterday afternoon over the telephone.

She starts her new job as Chief Yahoo first thing Tuesday morning. She will be Yahoo’s sixth CEO in the past 12 months.

According to the official Yahoo press release, the Board of Directors unanimously agreed her track record for design of technology products and execution makes her ideal to enhance Yahoo’s products.

Over her past 13 years at Google, Mayer held positions as an engineer, designer, product manager and vice president of several Google properties. She headed up some of Google’s biggest products, including Google  Local, Maps, and Images. 

She has been praised as a leader in user-centered product design and might finally be just what Yahoo needs to pull their products back from the brink.

“Yahoo’s products will continue to enhance our partnerships with advertisers, technology and media companies, while inspiring and delighting our users,” Mayer said. “There is a lot to do and I can’t wait to get started.”

Her Twitter Profile was updated with a simple @Yahoo! Monday night – along with news that she is pregnant:

She also posted to her Google+ stream about how excited she is about her new role at Yahoo.


Yahoo has seen its share of CEOs at the helm. For six years, Tim Koogle was Yahoo’s first from incorporation in 1995, until 2001 when Terry Semel took over.

Semel also stayed six years, replaced by co-founder Jerry Yang in 2007. But only 18 months later, Yang stepped down to be replaced a few months later by Carol Bartz.

Less than three years later amid major headlines, she was fired by phone. Tim Morse had the interim honor during a four-month search, finally seating former PayPal president Scott Thompson.

However, questions over his resume prompted investors to force him to step down two months ago. Since then, Ross Levinsohn, Executive Vice President has held the interim CEO position.

As Mayer steps in, she needs to command a ship that’s been without a captain swirling around the perfect storm. CEO issues aside, when Mayer joins Yahoo’s Board of Directors, she will be the ninth of of the 12-person Board to have joined during this calendar year.

The reaction from the Internet community has been generally positive. Most of the tweets seem to suggest this is not just another port in the storm. The Twitterverse already seems to expect her to succeed at steering the ship back into smoother waters.

Interestingly enough, Ms. Mayer also announced Monday she’s expecting her first child. She’s due October 7th. Will there be another temporary CEO in the cards for Yahoo this fall?

What are your thoughts? Are better days ahead for Yahoo? Or is it too little too late?

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