Leading Google executive Marissa Mayer has been appointed by Yahoo as the company’s new chief executive officer (CEO), despite interim boss Ross Levinsohn being favourite for the position.
The move makes Ms Mayer, 37, the third Yahoo CEO in less than a year, after her predecessor Scott Thompson was forced to step down in the wake of allegations that he placed a fake computer degree on his CV. Carol Bartz was fired in September 2011 after two and a half years in the post.
Ms Mayer declared that she was ‘honoured and delighted’ to lead the company in a Yahoo statement. She also went on to reveal that she was pregnant.
So, great news for Ms Mayer and Yahoo, though Yahoo has had its fair share of bad news lately too. Despite remaining America’s largest web portal, the search site has struggled in the emergence of Google and the wake of social networking with sites like Facebook and Twitter, the predominant criticism of Yahoo has been the site’s inability to adapt to a more social way of operating. Its stock is now worth less than half of its peak value.
In spite of this, the site’s new service is still tremendously popular with web users. Search and email are the areas that have suffered the most.
Many believe the appointment of Mayer represents a shift in focus to technology and products over online content.
"I look forward to working with the company's dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalised experiences to users and advertisers all around the world," Ms Mayer said.
HitSearch Director Andy Redfern commented "Marissa Mayer is a bold move for Yahoo and steps away from the recent appointments of the last year. Marissa has a heavy background in search at Google and will hopefully bring some much needed focus towards their search product. Marissa has a challenge job on her hands and coupled together with Yahoo losing market share each month make it increasing difficult."