SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Yahoo is hiring longtime Google executive Marissa Mayer to be its next CEO, the fifth in five years as the company struggles to rebound from financial malaise and internal turmoil.
Mayer, who starts at Yahoo Inc. today, was one of Google’s earliest employees and was most recently responsible for its mapping, local and location services. Mayer, 37, began her career at Google in 1999 after getting her master’s degree in computer science from Stanford, the school Google’s co-founders attended.
Ross Levinsohn has been running the company on an interim basis and was thought to be the leading candidate after Hulu CEO Jason Kilar dropped out from consideration. Levinsohn filled in after Scott Thompson lost his job two months ago in a flap over misinformation on his official biography.
Fred Amoroso, Yahoo’s chairman, said the board was drawn to Mayer’s “unparalleled track record in technology, design, and product execution.”
Yahoo’s website remains among the most popular destinations on the Internet with 700 million monthly visitors, but the company has struggled to turn those visits into ad revenue growth. Yahoo’s decline has been exacerbated by the success of Internet search leader Google Inc. and social networking leader Facebook Inc.
Mayer has a list of talents and accomplishments that could serve Yahoo well. She gained a reputation at Google as an effective leader with a long string of successes. Known for a folksy demeanor that harks back to her roots in Wausau, Wis., she is a math whiz with a photographic memory. In her time at Google, she led teams that produced many of the company’s most recognizable products, including the development of its flagship search product and the iconic Google homepage.
“I’m incredibly excited to start my new role at Yahoo tomorrow,” Mayer wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon.