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Tech Executive Pick – Marissa Mayer – CEO, Yahoo Inc.

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Marissa Ann Mayer (pronounced /ˈmər/;[8] born May 30, 1975) is President and CEO of Yahoo!. Previously, she was a long-time executive and key spokesperson for Google.[9][10][11] Mayer was ranked number 14 on the list of America’s most powerful businesswomen of 2012 by Fortune magazine.[12]

Early life and education

Mayer was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, the daughter of Margaret Mayer, an art teacher of Finnish descent,[13] and Michael Mayer, an engineer.[14][15] After graduating from Wausau West High School in 1993,[16] Mayer was selected by Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson as one of the state’s two delegates to attend the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia.[17]

Mayer graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in symbolic systems and an M.S. in computer science. For both degrees, she specialized in artificial intelligence. In 2009, the Illinois Institute of Technology granted Mayer an honoris causa doctorate degree in recognition of her work in the field of search.[18][19]

 

Career

Mayer joined Google in 1999 as employee number 20 and was the company’s first female engineer.[20][21] During her 13 years with the company, she was an engineer, designer, product manager and executive. Mayer held key roles in Google Search, Google Images, Google News, Google Maps, Google Books, Google Product Search, Google Toolbar, iGoogle and Gmail. She also oversaw the layout of Google’s well-known, unadorned search homepage.[22][23] In her final years with Google, she was Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services and, before that, vice president of search products and user experience.[24]

Prior to joining Google, Mayer had done internships at SRI International in Menlo Park, California and the UBS research lab Ubilab in Zurich, Switzerland.[25][26]

On July 16, 2012, Mayer was appointed President and CEO of Yahoo!, effective the following day. She is also a member of the company’s board of directors.[27][28] In February 2013, Mayer oversaw a major personnel policy change at Yahoo! which required that all remote-working employees convert to in-office roles.[29] Having worked from home toward the end of her pregnancy, Mayer returned to work after giving birth to a boy, and had a nursery built next to her office suite. Shortly thereafter, she was criticised for the telecommuting ban.[30]

In April 2013, Mayer changed Yahoo’s maternity leave policy, lengthening its time allowance and providing a cash bonus to parents.[31] CNN noted this was in line with other Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook and Mayer’s former employer Google. [32]

On May 20, 2013, Mayer led Yahoo to acquire Tumblr in a 1.1 billion dollar acquisition.[33]

In 2013, Mayer ranked 32 in the Forbes list of 100 most powerful women.[34]

In July 2013 Yahoo reported a fall in revenues, but a rise in profits compared with the same period in the previous year. In her announcement Mayer chose to ignore the continued revenue slide, and instead hailed the company’s relentless release of new mobile offerings. Reaction on Wall Street was muted, with shares falling 1.7%.[35]

Boards and honors

As well as sitting on the boards of directors of Walmart, Jawbone and Yahoo! Mayer also sits on several non-profit boards such as Cooper–Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.[36][37][38][39]

Mayer actively invests in technology companies, including crowd-sourced design retailer Minted,[40] live video platform Airtime,[citation needed] and mobile payments processor Square.[citation needed]

Mayer was named to Fortune magazine’s annual list of America’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 with ranks at 50, 44, 42, 38 and 14 respectively.[41] In 2008, at age 33, she was the youngest woman ever listed. Mayer was named one of Glamour Magazines Women of the Year in 2009.[42]

Personal life

Mayer married lawyer and investor Zachary Bogue on December 12, 2009.[43][44]

On the same day Yahoo! announced her hiring, Mayer revealed that she was pregnant.[44][45][46] Mayer gave birth to a baby boy on September 30, 2012.[47] Although she asked for suggestions via social media,[48] the name Macallister was eventually chosen for her baby’s name from an existing list.[49]

She has stated her priorities as being, “God, family and Yahoo!; in that order,” a reference to legendary Green Bay Packers Coach, Vince Lombardi who said, “Your god, your family and the Green Bay Packers; in that order”.[50]

 

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