Google VP Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo! CEO

Yahoo! has a new CEO. In what is considered a surprise move, the ailing search company has appointed Google web-search executive Marissa Mayer to its helm after several years of a revolving door of executives, in which the company has had seven CEOs in the past five years.

In this 2009 file photo, Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience for Google, speaks in Mountain View, Calif. Yahoo announced Monday, July 16, 2012, it is hiring Mayer to be its next CEO, the fifth in five years as the company struggles to rebound from years of financial malaise and internal turmoil. Mayer, who starts at Yahoo Inc. on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, was one of Google’s earliest employees and was most recently responsible for its mapping, local and location services. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Mayer will have to face the challenge of turning Yahoo! around, as the company had suffered a string of losses, which includes its valuation falling from a mighty $47.5 billion (as per unsolicited Microsoft acquisition offer) to less than US$ 20 billion.

In the Yahoo! board’s appointment of Mayer, she passes over interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, who has overseen Yahoo! since the exit of former CEO Scott Thompson, who left the company after a credential-padding controversy. Insiders worry about increased attrition due to the frequent change in leadership, and because Mayer comes from a different background than Yahoo!’s former chief executives. Mayer joined Google in 1999, and was responsible for the search engine’s clutter-free visual interface and local initiatives like the Zagat acquisition.

Mayer has expressed excitement over the appointment, and promises to focus on reviving the brand. “Yahoo is a company with an amazing following, terrific brand and huge amount of potential, she said in an interview. Mayer is “just very excited to work with the many talented employees at Yahoo to take those products to the next level.”