Google's Marissa Mayer has become the new Yahoo CEO. It's a big surprise as no one actually saw this coming. Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn was seen as a likely candidate for the permanent position and other names, such as Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, were put forward, but not Mayer's.She is Google's 20th employee and the first female engineer. She had a big role in search up until a couple of years ago when she was appointed head of local and commerce.
In the latest Google reorg, after Larry Page took over as CEO, her role was diminished and she wasn't part of the top executive tier at the company anymore, the people who head the big Google departments, like YouTube, Chrome, Android and so on.
This may have a lot to do with her decision to move which she said was "reasonably easy" to make.
"I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the internet's premier destinations for more than 700 million users. 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," she said in a statement.
"Yahoo!'s products will continue to enhance our partnerships with advertisers, technology and media companies, while inspiring and delighting our users. There is a lot to do and I can't wait to get started," she added.
Perhaps most surprising at all is Yahoo choosing a new leader that looks like she may have a chance of doing something right at the company. She is clearly more qualified to lead product development and user experience than any of its predecessors.
That said, Mayer hasn't had such a big role so far and has mostly focused on the product side of things. Yahoo has a large media business which she may be unfamiliar with. What's more, in the end, Yahoo may simply be beyond saving, no matter who leads it. Time will tell.