As Mayer takes reins at Yahoo, what's her first order of business?
Marissa Mayer started her new job Tuesday, leading her former rival, Yahoo. Mayer will be Yahoo's fifth CEO in the past five years.
(Page 2 of 3)
Mayer joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employee and went on to play an integral role in helping Page and Brin exploit their online search technology to outmaneuver Yahoo at a time when it was still the larger of the two companies. Now, it takes Google a little more than a month to generate as much revenue as Yahoo does in an entire year.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
During Google's rise, Mayer helped oversee the development and design of the company's popular email, online mapping and news services. She also became a topic of Silicon Valley gossip during Google's early years while she dated Page for three years. They have since gotten married to other people.
"We will miss her talents," Page, now Google's CEO, said in a statement.
In another statement, Schmidt hailed Mayer as "a great product person, very innovative and a real perfectionist who always wants the best for users. Yahoo has made a great choice."
Mayer becomes one of the most prominent women executives in Silicon Valley, a place whose geeky culture has been dominated by men for decades. This is Yahoo's second female CEO, though. Silicon Valley veteran Carol Bartz, 63, spent more than two-and-half years as Yahoo's CEO before she was fired last September.
Within a few months, Mayer expects to be on a maternity leave. In another interview late Monday, Mayer revealed to Fortune magazine that she is pregnant with a boy. Her due date is Oct. 7. She said she had informed Yahoo's board about her pregnancy before the 11 directors unanimously voted to hire her.
Other prominent female executives in Silicon Valley include Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Meg Whitman and another former top Google executive, Sheryl Sandberg, who defected to a rival when she joined Facebook as that company's chief operating officer in 2008. Other female CEOs running major technology companies include IBM Corp.'s Virginia "Ginni" Rometty and Xerox Corp.'s Ursula Burns.
Yahoo picked Mayer over an internal candidate, Ross Levinsohn, who had been widely considered to be the front-runner for the job after stepping in to fill a void created two months ago when the company dumped Scott Thompson as CEO amid a flap over misinformation on his official biography.
Thompson's bio inaccurately said he had college degree in computer science — an accomplishment that Mayer can rightfully list on her resume. She earned a master's in computer science at Stanford University, the same school where the co-founders from both Google and Yahoo honed their engineering skills.