Serving as the CEO for one of world’s most successful technology companies may seem like a dream to some, but for Marissa Mayer, it’s all in a day’s work.
Raising a family, interviewing Lady Gaga and serving as the CEO for one of the world’s most successful technology companies may seem like a dream to some, but for Marissa Mayer, it’s all in a day’s work.
This influential woman was appointed president and CEO of Yahoo! in 2012. Her appointment came as a shocker to many in the business community, since for the past 13 years Mayer built her high profile career at Yahoo’s rival, Google, serving as vice president in several capacities.
In 1999, shortly after graduating from Stamford University, Mayer was hired as employee number 20 at Google and learned the business by working as Google’s first female engineer, later becoming a designer, product manager and executive in a variety of departments. She also oversaw the creation of and successfully defended the clean, spare look of Google’s search page.
During her tenure at Google, Mayer interviewed famed singer and entertainer Lady Gaga as part of Google’s video series on musicians, spending more than an hour with the star. In the midst of talking about her life and career, it came to light that Lady Gaga uses a lot of technology. By using this to create a powerhouse career and connect with her fans worldwide, she has successfully risen to be numbered among Google’s most-searched people. Originally recorded in 2011, this video interview went viral with more than 2 million views to date.
In addition to her high profile accomplishments in the workplace – she has been on Fortune Magazine’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” since 2008 – Mayer made history in 2012 by becoming the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company in the United States. Starting her position at Yahoo! when she was expecting a child, potentially shattered another glass ceiling for women executives afraid of being punished professionally for having a family.
Mayer is not afraid to be a visible CEO, either. In her media interviews, Mayer said that having a baby and a demanding job isn’t as tough as she thought. She also spoke about the fun she is having in her new position. Mayer received some criticism for those remarks – they went viral – as well as for taking a too-short maternity leave, going back to work in a mere two weeks and working from home for only a few weeks after giving birth. Yahoo! does need intensive help, however, especially after several years of uninspiring leadership and a mission that is less than straightforward or inspiring.
“I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo, one of the Internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users,” Mayer said in a statement released at the time of her appointment. “I look forward to working with the company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world.”
“Yahoo’s products will continue to enhance our partnerships with advertisers, technology and media companies, while inspiring and delighting our users.” Mayer said. “There is a lot to do and I can’t wait to get started.”
I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo, one of the Internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users.“
- Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer - President and CEO of Yahoo