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A few weeks ago I talked a bit about the gender debate, so I’m particularly happy to point out that Marissa Mayer, who was Google’s first female engineer, has just been appointed as President, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of Yahoo! effective as of today. Mayer is a super-impressive career woman and, at the young age of 37, has amassed a fortune of more than $300 million! You go, girl!
At Google, Mayer managed its search product for years and also led development of iGoogle, Google News, and Gmail. In 2010, she switched to Google Maps and other local products. According to Business Insider, Mayer went from managing 250 product managers related to Google’s search products to supervising 1,100 managers – people managing engineering, design, marketing, and sales. In addition, Mayer supervises some 6,000 contractors.
Mayer resigned her post at Google and has begun at Yahoo!, coming as a surprise to some, who expected Ross Levinson, Yahoo's interim CEO, would get the job.
“The Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Marissa’s unparalleled track record in technology, design, and product execution makes her the right leader for Yahoo! at this time of enormous opportunity,” said Fred Amoroso, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In a statement, Mayer says: “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.”
Yahoo cofounder David Filo – who’s known to still work at Yahoo! in a cubicle, says:
“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. I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo's product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors.”
So what was Mayer up to before she was the brains behind some major tech operations? According to Huffington Post, a teenaged Mayer enjoyed science camp. She went on to graduate from Stanford (after being accepted by all ten colleges that she applied to!) with a BS in Symbolic Systems in 1997 and got her masters there in Computer Science. She specialized in artificial intelligence. After graduation, she quickly received 14 job offers before deciding to join Google.
In addition to her role at Google, Mayer has put money into a handful of startups, including uBeam, Brit Media, Square, Minted, Airtime, and One Kings Lane, and was appointed to Wal-Mart’s board of directors in June.
Wow, Mayer sure is going to be busy! Could this superwoman possibly take on any more? Absolutely! In addition to having a fabulous career, she and her husband Zach just confirmed to Forbes that they are expecting their first child in October! Mayer disclosed her pregnancy to Yahoo! when its headhunters contacted her in June about the CEO position. She says no one on the board expressed an issue with her condition.
Marissa Mayer is a true inspiration to working women everywhere – there really doesn’t seem to be anything she can’t do! Congrats to her on all of her many accomplishments!