Marissa Mayer (b. May 30, 1975)
The new position is significant because Mayer has long been said to have the golden touch. Soon after graduating with honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in symbolic systems and an M.S. in computer science, she became the 20th employee for Google and their first female engineer. During her 13 years at the company, she was also a designer and product manager in departments including Google Books and Google Maps. Eventually Mayer was promoted to their Vice President of Location and Local Services. Her time at the company was so stellar that she was on Fortune magazines’s list of America’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. She was also behind some of the site’s most signature features, including the sparse, white search home page.
With the move to Yahoo!, Mayer is expected to bring some of that same magic to the company whose last CEO quit after five months and which has struggled with declining numbers for its email service and search engine. Her approach? “I want you thinking about the users,” she has told Yahoo!’s employees, meaning she wants to put the focus back on creating better services for the public. Regardless of what Mayer does in her new post, all eyes will continue to be on this superstar woman of the technology industry.