Marissa Mayer, a leading consumer internet executive and one of Google Inc’s (GOOG) earliest employees, will become Yahoo’s (YHOO) new CEO from Tuesday, a surprise pick for the company’s fourth chief executive in less than a year.
Mayer, who joined Google in 1997 as its 20th employee and first female engineer, edged out front-runner and acting CEO Ross Levinsohn for the top spot at the struggling former Internet powerhouse, which continues to loose ground in the search and content business.
Mayer, 37, is a technologist that has managed some of Google Inc.’s most popular products. She is credited for envisioning Google’s famously white search home page, a major selling point for Web surfers, and the way users interacted with Gmail, Google News and Google Images.
David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo, said in a prepared statement: “Marissa is a well-known, visionary leader in user experience and product design and one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting strategists in technology development. I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo’s product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors.”
“The Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Marissa’s unparalleled track record in technology, design, and product execution makes her the right leader for Yahoo! at this time of enormous opportunity,” said Fred Amoroso, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Mayer received her B.S. in Symbolic Systems and her M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, specializing in artificial intelligence for both degrees. She holds several patents in artificial intelligence and interface design.
Yahoo’s share price, which peaked in January of 2006 at $43.42, on Monday closed at $15.65 in Nasdaq composite trading, down 0.6% for the day. Ticker’s 52wk Range: $11.09 – $16.79/Oct 19, 2011.