Marissa Meyer was the first female engineer hired at Google in 1999, and only the 20th employee. She was the highest ranking female employee at the company. She made the surprise announcement in July 16, 2012 that she was quitting Google to go helm Yahoo as CEO. She then announced that not only was she the latest in a recent string of CEOs for the troubled Internet company, she was pregnant. That makes her the first pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and kudos to Yahoo for hiring her while visibly pregnant. Meyer claims she'll take a short maternity leave and then be straight back to work.
For those relatively new to the Internet, Yahoo used to be a big deal. Before Google took over search, Yahoo used to be a fantastic curated portal of content. Yahoo also offers an email service and the Flickr photo service, but all of their products have been declining due to lack of development and increased competition.
Now, Meyer has two challenges here. The first is to turn around a faltering company, and the second is to show the world how well a new mom can do the job. As a millionaire in charge of a large company, she's going to have an easier time with that latter task than the average new mother. She can work from home, bring the baby to work, or make other arrangements. Even so, her success could mean more chances for other women in technology and mothers in the workplace.
Marissa Meyer was born in 1975 and is 37 years old as of this writing, which also makes her very young for a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Her eduction includes an MS in computer science from Stanford specializing in artificial intelligence. She married her husband, venture capitalist Zachary Bogue, in 2009. The two are expecting their first child in October.
At Google, Marissa Meyer was instrumental in developing Google search, the product Google is primarily known for. She then moved to head up Google local as the Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services in 2010. She lead the Google acquisition of Zagat, but she was not likely to further advance at Google. A Senior Vice President was over her in local, and she was unlikely to ever advance beyond two levels below the top at Google. While Yahoo is certainly a smaller company in comparison, being CEO is still a promotion and a challenge. And after earning millions through Google, she's no longer in it just for the money.
Mayer sits on the board of multiple companies, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet.
Mayer has gathered several tips from her 13 years at Google and has reportedly imported many Google traditions, such as Friday meetings and free food for employees at the Silicon Valley food court.