Marissa Mayer to take Yahoo! top spot

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This is big. Google exec Marissa Mayer is set to take the top seat at Yahoo!

According to the New York Times Google employee number 20 announced her resignation via phone earlier today.

Interestingly Mayer, who has been at Google for 13 years and was its first female engineer, said the decision was a relatively easy one.

Mayer seems intent on taking the ailing Yahoo! back to its glory days, when “people didn’t understand the difference between Yahoo! and the internet.”

She also told the Times that she hopes “to get focused on creating a really great user experiences” and attracting new talent to the company. “Talent is what drives technology companies,” she said.

Mayer says she’s going to concentrate on Yahoo!’s strong points, including e-mail, finance and sports. The times reports that she’s also hoping to leverage some of its fringe business interests like video broadband and mobile.

One thing she won’t do is try to make it a dominant search power again. That boat sailed a long time ago. In fact, Yahoo is only used for 3.42% of the web’s searches:

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Search Engine Market Share

In reference to Yahoo!’s decision to give up power over its search engine to Microsoft, Mayer said “I actually think the partnership has been a positive for the company”.

Things have gone from bad to worse for Yahoo! of late. After firing CEO Carol Bartz, the company hired Scott Thompson in her place. It wasn’t long though before he quit after it was revealed that he had faked sections of his CV.

The company’s shares meanwhile have gone into free fall, declining more than 40% in the last five years.

Mayer joins an elite club of women to have held top tech jobs, including Bartz, HP boss Meg Whitman and IBM head Virginia Rometty.

So, can someone from the company that fired the first salvo into Yahoo!’s side stop it from sinking. I’m not so sure, but if Yahoo!’s recent past is anything to go by,it’s bound to be a fun ride — if only for the tech press.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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