Marissa Mayer takes the top job at Yahoo. If only there was a word to express how exciting this news is.
As one of Google’s earliest and most heavily-involved engineers (Mayer held key roles in Google Search, Google Images, Google Books, Google Product Search, Google Toolbar, iGoogle, Google News and Gmail.), Marissa Mayer has been lauded for her role in the company’s success and clean aesthetic. Mayer has been seen as a trailblazer, and yesterday she once again surprised the tech world by assuming the role of CEO for Yahoo. From CNN:
Google’s first female engineer, Marissa Mayer, has made a career out of bucking expectations — and she did so once again on Monday by
announcing she will leave Google to be the new CEO of Yahoo, the struggling company that once was Google’s main competitor.
“I’m not a woman at Google, I’m a geek at Google,” she told CNN in April. “If you can find something that you’re really passionate about,
whether you’re a man or a woman comes a lot less into play. Passion is a gender-neutralizing force.”
As a high-profile and powerful woman working in Silicone Valley, Marissa Mayer has been seen as a bit of a remarkable anomaly, and while she downplays her gender (as per above), recent studies (such as this report from the AAUW) consistently show women working as Computer Programmers, Software Engineers, and Hardware Engineers hovers around 20% of the total workforce.
I hope Ms. Mayer’s success at Google (and now Yahoo) is a beacon for younger women to enter technology fields. Do you think she is a trailblazer, or just a really good engineer?
Photo of Marissa Mayer courtesy of AP/Evan Agostini