On Monday, Yahoo named Marissa Mayer, a longtime Googler, as its new chief executive.
Mayer, 37, is well-known as Google’s 20th employee and its first female engineer. She’s been at Google for 13 years and spent much of her career there heading up Google’s search team.
In late 2010, Mayer was made the head of location and local services and was elevated to Google’s small operating committee, signaling to some that Google was putting that section of the company into a more prominent position, while others saw it as a sort of demotion.
As Andrew Ross Sorkin pointed out in Dealbook on Monday, regardless of how Google meant to cast the move, it was clear that Mayer appeared to have topped out her career at Google.
There were signals that Mayer was looking to come into her own, and possibly leave Google behind. In April, she joined the board of Wal-Mart, her first board seat at a public company.
She does not have executive-level experience, but in addition to her obvious technical chops, Mayer also oversaw the acquisition of the Zagat review guide in September. And, of course, search and location services are not small parts of Google’s business. Business Insider estimated that as Google’s head of local, Mayer oversaw about 20 to 25 percent of the company.
As for her personal life, Mayer is a native Wausau, Wisc., a city of about 39,000 in central Wisconsin. She attended Stanford University, where she has returned to give speeches on subjects such as search design. She is married to Zachary Bogue, an entrepreneur.
Their wedding was the subject of a gushing short feature in Vogue in 2009, which highlighted the bride’s wedding dress, which was designed by Naeem Khan and embroidered with snowflakes.
She doesn’t seem to think the pregnancy will have much effect on her first year at Yahoo. Mayer first disclosed her pregnancy to Yahoo’s board in June, she told Fortune, and told the full board about it last Wednesday.
No one on the board, she said, raised any concern about her pregnancy. The board called her last Thursday to offer her the CEO position.
“They showed their evolved thinking,” Mayer told Fortune. She added that she intends for her maternity leave to only be a “few weeks long” and that she’ll work through it. To accommodate her pregnancy, the report said that Yahoo will move its September board meeting, which was scheduled to take place in New York, to Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif.