Marissa Mayer, the technology executive who has worked at Google since the search company’s start, has been appointed CEO of Yahoo. The news of Mayer’s appointment was first reported by the New York Times yesterday and later confirmed by a Yahoo press release. On top of this news, Mayer also announced yesterday that she and husband, entrepreneur and Founders’ Den managing partner, Zack Bogue, are expecting their first child—a boy—in October 2012.
Mayer is certainly a catch for Yahoo. After attending Stanford where she received a B.S. in symbolic systems—a blend of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and computer science—and her M.S. in computer science, she started at Google in 1999 as the company’s 20th employee and its first female engineer. Since then she has stayed on with the company and served as one of its most public faces, making appearances on tech conferences, network television morning shows, as well as evening newscasts such as with Charlie Rose. Known for her stellar reputation at Google, Mayer was responsible for managing some of the company’s most successful technologies and the clean look of Google’s popular products, including the simple white search homepage, Gmail, Google News, and Google Images.
A leader for women in the technology industry, Mayer told The New York Times yesterday that Yahoo was “one of the best brands of the Internet.” Yahoo’s press release says the appointment “signals a renewed focus on product innovation,” with Mayer serving as a “product-centric” business leader given her engineering background, which should greatly benefit Yahoo, says venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.
Vixely recently spent time with Marissa for the launch of the book The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane at the couples’ home in San Francisco, as well as at the International Museum of Women gala earlier this year.
Mayer joins a short list of female tech CEOs at large public companies; the group includes Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, runs much of the company’s day-to-day operations.
Marissa is of course a major proponent of women in technology, previously offering this inspiring advice:
…In the world of technical women, [the internet is] enabling something quite extraordinary—it’s helping geeks, like me, all over the world find their voice and find their passion. And passion to me is what being a geek is really about. And, while passion is geek-enabling, passion is also gender-neutralizing.
In a world where there are too few technical women, the Internet serves as powerful point of inspiration and an amazing way to tap into human creativity and potential. So, empower the geeks you know. Encourage girls—let them know that it’s OK to be a geek. Daydream about mechanical engineering and how it relates to fashion. Make something thought to be science fiction a reality. Teach girls that finding your passion means that all the little details that get them excited should matter. And most of all, embrace your own inner geek.
Vixelty congratulates Marissa on her tremendously exciting journeys ahead.