On July 16, 2012, Marissa Mayer became the new President and CEO of Yahoo!, thus ending a stint with Google Inc. that had lasted over thirteen years. Mayer’s leap from Google sent shockwaves throughout the business world and tech industry. Not only did Mayer become the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company, she took years of expertise and experience with a true competitor with her for the new job. The scenario might have been different if Mayer had been just any Google employee, but she had actually been instrumental in defining the brand and technology behind the internet giant. Mayer was only the twentieth employee hired by Google Inc. before the company began to dominate global business. Work at Google While at Google, Mayer became somewhat of a legend for her role in the look and the emerging trends of the company. She wore a number of hats during her time there, including engineer, designer, executive, and project manager. Mayer led the development of Google’s famous landing page, which has been highly influential in the evolution of new design. She also played a meaningful part in the development and project management of Google Maps, Google Images, Google Search, Google Toolbar, and Gmail, among others. She became Vice President of Search Products and User Experience and later, Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services. It is safe to say that Mayer played a role in making Google everything that it is today. Yahoo! When Mayer was elected as CEO of Yahoo!, the internet seemed to light up with stories on her new career. The business community was taken aback by Mayer’s unexpected transition to a known competitor, but they were also perhaps shocked by Mayer’s young age and gender–there are very few female CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies. Yahoo! played this new interest to their advantage, and the story helped boost the company’s stock prices and corporate image. Mayer has big plans for Yahoo!, and industry insiders eagerly wait to see if she can actually turn the company around. There are many who doubt that the new CEO can actually regain Yahoo!’s past glory, but Mayer has definitely surprised those who questioned her fit for the role. She has explored former interim CEO Ross Levinsohn’s plans to transform the internet company into a platform for various video services. Mayer has also most notably launched the Flickr app for mobile users that has surged ahead of Instagram in functionality and social media interfacing. Google Response The folks at Google appeared to react with stunned silence upon the news of Mayer’s exit. After all, it was their company that had given the new CEO all of her training in leadership development, and Mayer had actively tried to take down Yahoo! for years. The news industry pointed to the fact that Google had no replacement for Mayer as evidence that the move came as quite a surprise. The thousands of employees whom Mayer oversaw were temporarily without a direct boss, it seems. Eventually, the tech giant did release a statement wishing Mayer well and claiming that her presence would be missed, although we cannot vouch for its sincerity.
Author Bio: Kate Simmons is a freelance writer on topics related to business, management and education.