The biggest tech story to emerge this week is the news that one of Google’s most high-profile employees, Marissa Mayer, has jumped ship to Yahoo!
The former Vice President of Google Local, Maps & Location Services will be joining Yahoo! in the most senior position available – CEO. This news came completely out of the blue to most in the industry as it was speculated that Yahoo’s interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, would be given the top role. Plus, Mayer has been a long standing employee at Google, she was one of its first employees (its first female employee), and she has been instrumental in the companies success.
So what makes Mayer suitable for the role of CEO at Yahoo? For starters, she has a Master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University, and she has a comprehensive understanding of both the technical and business challenges that Yahoo currently faces. In her 13 years at Google, she has worked across a number of areas including engineer, designer, product manager, and most recently she headed up some of Google’s biggest products, including Google Local, Maps, and Images. From a PR point of view, Mayer is a solid choice – She is incredibly famous in the tech world, has a stellar reputation and is incredibly well liked.
In an official press release, Mayer issued the following statement:
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.
This is certainly going to be a challenge for Mayer, who announced yesterday that she is 6 months pregnant. Yahoo has lost significant market share to its competition for the past ten months and Google seems poised to continue dominating the search market for the foreseeable future. But what has she got to lose? She is incredibly rich from Google’s IPO and was never going to become CEO of Google while Page and Brin are at the helm.
I personally think this is great news, I hope she is able to make a splash at Yahoo. Do you think Mayer can turn Yahoo! around? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.