updated 05:05 pm EDT, Mon July 16, 2012
Represents loss of core member of Google
One Google's leading executives, Marissa Mayer, is leaving the company to become the next CEO of Yahoo, the New York Times reports. Mayer is said to have resigned from Google by telephone just this afternoon, despite starting with Yahoo on Tuesday. In an interview Mayer claims that she "had an amazing time at Google," but that it "was a reasonably easy decision" to jump to Yahoo, which she calls "one of the best brands on the Internet." The executive was first approached about a Yahoo job after returning from a trip to China in mid-June.
Mayer was Google's 20th employee, and its first female engineer; she was ultimately responsible for the design of many of Google's core services, including the main search page, Gmail, Google Images, and Google News. Recently she was put at the head of the company's location and local search services, and she also had a rare seat on the Google operating committee, giving her access to company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
In the past few months she branched out from Google, joining Walmart's board of directors. The Times speculates that the move to Yahoo may stem from an inability to make it to one of Google's top-level posts. In 2011, for instance, Jeff Huber was promoted to the position of senior VP of local and commerce, putting him ahead of Mayer in rank.
Mayer says that while at Yahoo, she hopes to leverage the company's stronger elements, including email, sports, and finance. She also hopes to expand on video and mobile efforts.
Yahoo, though, as been suffering in recent years, losing ground to both Google and Facebook, which have both eaten into markets where Yahoo was once dominant. The company has gone through several CEOs since 2007, including co-founder Jerry Yang, Carol Bartz, and most recently Scott Thompson, who resigned in May after his academic credentials came into doubt. Since then, Ross Levinsohn has operated as an interim CEO, and was tapped by analysts as the likely permanent replacement. In that time the executive settled a lawsuit Thompson brought against Facebook, and managed to recruit another Google executive, Michael Barrett, as Yahoo's new chief revenue officer.