Former Google executive Marissa Mayer has a new gig. The 37-year-old Mayer was the 20th Google employee hired when the now legendary search giant was starting out, but today she takes over the reigns of what she calls “one of the best brands on the Internet.” Yahoo! has been struggling to find its way in recent years as the Web continues to evolve, and it’s hoped Mayer will be able to provide the company with some new direction. Seeking new talent and a fresh outlook can often change a company’s fortunes. Yahoo! sought leadership from a competitor to improve its position in the market. Here is how leadership can play a role.
A New Era
It’s official. Several news organizations were piecing the story together yesterday evening, but we have to thank Matt McGee for putting together a thorough roundup of events. Despite her 13 years with Google, which she describes as amazing, Mayer said the decision move on wasn’t hard. She officially left Google yesterday and will take over as new Yahoo! CEO today, according to reports. Search Engine Land
The Yahoo! announcement. Mayer has been named President and CEO and a member of the board at Yahoo! according to an official release from the company. Before leaving Google, Mayer was in charge of the company’s Local and Location Services, and worked on products like Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search. Yahoo!
Hail to the Chief
The right choice. When Yahoo! chose Mayer to be the company’s new President and CEO, it was definitely the right decision, says Dan Frommer in a recent editorial. Mayer is a Silicon Valley heavyweight who will be able to recruit the talent the company needs, has a strong background in computer science that will enable her to understand the company’s business model and requirements, and who has the proven experience to lead engineers to design some truly innovative new products to put Yahoo! back on the map. ReadWriteWeb
The short list. As Yahoo!’s new President and CEO, Mayer also gains another distinction, joining a shortlist of powerful women in Silicon Valley and corporate America that also includes Meg Whitman, chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, Virginia M. Rometty, head of I.B.M. and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook. DealBook
Turning things around. The Yahoo! board members who hired Mayer aren’t the only people who respect her credentials. So do others like Marc Andreessen, an industry insider who admits he’s surprised that Yahoo! was able to recruit someone of Mayer’s caliber. Turning Yahoo! around may be tough, he says. But if anyone can do it, Mayer can. Business Insider
Decisions, decisions, decisions. One of the biggest questions now circulating among those second and third guessing Yahoo!’s big new hire is whether the company was most in need of a strong product person like Mayer or a strong media and advertising executive like interim CEO Ross Levinsohn. In choosing Mayer, the board has made a decision about the company’s future. Leadership approach can have a similar impact on any size business. Forbes
Coming into focus. The most important impact leaders can have on a company is often in the area of focus. Whether you run a company traded on Wall Street or a small mom and pop, focus can make all the difference. With the new CEO hire at Yahoo!, it is hoped the company can finally gain some direction. The important thing is to focus on something and do it well, no matter what business you may be in. Seeking Alpha