Marissa Mayer: Meet Yahoo's New CEO

Marissa Mayer is the new CEO of Yahoo. Who is this powerful woman?

July 17, 2012, 10:22 AM

JULY 17, 2012 — -- Today Marissa Mayer takes over as Yahoo's new CEO. She comes directly from Google, and if you believe the technology pundits, she provides the hope and capability to turn the company around.

"She comes into Yahoo with a massive and impressive pedigree, a personal agenda to showcase she was the more qualified CEO candidate, and she'll go a long way toward creating a belief that Yahoo can be turned around," Rob Enderle, a longtime industry analyst and head of the Enderle Group, told ABC News.

"She's a proven manager at scale. She knows how to run these companies at scale. There aren't that many product managers in our industry who can manage at scale," Marc Andreeseen, who leads one of the top venture capital firms in the world, told Business Insider.

So who is this woman who has both the tech community and Wall Street all giddy?

Wait, who is Marissa Mayer again?

Monday Marissa Mayer was the vice president of location and local services at Google. She was one of the search giant's top executives. Today she started as the CEO of Yahoo. She is 37 years old and is pregnant with her first child.

She is pregnant?

Yes, Mayer confirmed to Fortune that she is pregnant. Additonally, according to technology site AllThingsD, the Yahoo board didn't even consider her pregnancy part of the conversation.

Is she the first woman CEO of Yahoo?

No. Carol Bartz led the company from 2009 to 2011. Mayer has been considered one of the most powerful women in technology and business for years, earning her spots on lists from Forbes and Fortune to Glamour magazine.

How much experience did she have at Google?

A heck of a lot. She joined Google in 1999 as the 20th employee, and she was the company's first female engineer. Over the 13-year span she engineered and designed products, and led whole divisions. She has been described as a strong product visionary and perfectionist when it comes to product design.

What products did she work on at Google?

Again, a heck of a lot. She helped worked on Google Search in the early years as well as Google News, Gmail and most recently Google Maps. This "Nightline" interview with Mayer from 2007, when she was vice president of Google Search and user experience, reveals the extent to which Mayer was involved in product decisions.

What's her educational background?

Mayer majored in engineering at Stanford University, where she earned an M.S. in computer science and B.S. in symbolic systems.

What other technology companies has she invested in?

Mayer was an early investor in Square, a mobile payment company started by the co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. She is also an investor in Airtime, Minted, uBeam, and sits on the board of Walmart. Why go to Yahoo from Google?

Mayer hasn't directly answered that question but said in an interview with the New York Times that she "had an amazing time at Google." She also added that "it was a reasonably easy decision" as Yahoo is "one of the best brands on the Internet."

What does she plan to focus on at Yahoo?

According to that same interview with the New York Times, she plans to focus on the company's leading products, including email, finance and sports. She also wants to focus on mobile and video broadband.

Can she do it?

We can't answer that yet, but given the fact that Yahoo has had five CEOs in the past five years, Mayer has a lot of work to do and a big ship to steer. As Andreesen told Business Insider, "The thing about turnarounds is that they take time. It's three to five years to do the job. So one of the things she needs is for the board to support her for that period of time."

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