Marissa Mayer was Google's 20th employee, joining them in 1999. She was responsible for most of the user interfaces you saw on Google up until a couple years ago.
Here is a timeline of her titles at Google since 1999:
- Vice President, Local, Maps & Location Services: October 2010 – July 2012
- VP, Search Products & User Experience: November 2005 – October 2010
- Director, Consumer Web Services: March 2003 – November 2005
- Product Manager, Google.com: July 2001 – March 2003
- Software Engineer : June 1999 – July 2001
This woman had everything. She is incredibly rich from Google's IPO. She is incredibly famous in the tech world. She has an incredible reputation. She is incredibly well liked.
What else can she want? To prove that she can turn around an ailing old internet company that has been failing for over five years? But this can also be incredibly risky. Look at the past CEOs and what has happened to their reputations.
- Scott Thompson's reputation is now ruined.
- Carol Bartz looks like an angry woman
- Jerry Yang left the company he founded
- Terry Semel was ousted
Here is the timeline for Yahoo CEOs (some interim):
- Marissa Mayer (2012-Present)
- Ross Levinsohn Interim (2012)
- Scott Thompson (2012)
- Tim Morse Interim (2011-2012)
- Carol Bartz (2009-2011)
- Jerry Yang (2007-2009)
- Terry Semel (2001-2007)
- Timothy Koogle (1995-2001)
I think Marissa wants to prove herself, that she can do what five CEOs before her could not do. Turn around Yahoo. It is a huge risk but honestly, I personally feel (I have no proof or inside knowledge) that she was pushed aside at Google two years ago and hasn't been able to do much to make a different at Google since then. Yea, mobile is huge at Google but I get the feeling she wasn't the ultimate decision maker on that. That being said, I have no proof of any of that. But her taking on a role at Yahoo makes me feel that is the case even more so.
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."
And for another bombshell, Marissa announced she is pregnant and due in October:
Danny has a nice piece on what this means for Yahoo and search at Search Engine Land.