Skip to main content

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's Bold and Surprising Choice

Yahoo has announced its new CEO and president, but it's not the individual many anticipated. While interim CEO Ross Levinsohn was thought to have the inside track, Yahoo has picked a most unconventional choice in Marissa Mayer, the former Google vice president of local and location services.

Yes, that Google. But the hire-from-the-opposition move is not unprecedented. Yahoo has turned to big players at Google before, hiring former Google director Michael Barrett as its new CRO.

But here's a twist. At Google, Mayer oversaw the launch and development of many Google products and dated Google’s co-founder, Larry Page in the early 2000s.

So not only is the new CEO a former rival, she has ties to the person she must now outmaneuver, outthink and outsmart on a daily basis as she becomes the 5th Yahoo CEO in the last five years.

Yet the dating angle isn't the only intriguing twist.

Just hours after Yahoo’s announcement, Mayer herself took to the Internet to say she’s pregnant. Explaining in fewer than 140 characters on Twitter, Mayer is “expecting a new baby boy!”

The announcement is new, but the news isn’t. Several sources claim she is six months along with an October due date. While it is illegal for a company to not hire a woman solely because she is pregnant, Yahoo claims it was never even a question. They didn’t ask, but Mayer revealed the news to them before the job offer was made.

It makes sense that Yahoo didn’t mention her pregnancy in the press release announcing her hire, considering it’s personal information.

Mayer explained to Fortune that she’ll only need a few weeks of maternity leave and will be working throughout her leave.

While certainly a bold choice -- and a victory for women looking for dual success as executives and mothers -- Mayer certainly has some complex challenges ahead.


Popular Video