Marissa Mayer has been in the tech game since 1999, when she was hired as the 20th of Google’s first 25 employees. Her experiences in the business world and the traditionally male-dominated tech industry are remarkable. Haven’t heard of her? You’re more than likely familiar with products she’s pioneered.
Mayer’s held an array of leadership titles while working for the Google back when they were just a funny-named internet startup. From being the Director of Consumer Web Products to being the Vice President of Google Product Search, Mayer’s been involved with a plethora of Google products. In addition to playing a part in the design and layout of Google’s desktop search functions, Google Maps, and Gmail, she also worked on many of Google’s mobile applications.
Marissa Mayer’s name was brought into the spotlight when she was appointed Yahoo’s CEO and President in July 2012. Google’s predecessor was once mighty competition, but it was in need of a major upheaval. Mayer sought to update Yahoo and its services while acquiring new products in the process. In an increasingly mobile world, Yahoo was hindered by a presence confined to the computer. Its selection of applications were poorly marketed and developed, and there wasn’t even an app for Yahoo Mail, its most popular service. She’s brought about a turnaround; Yahoo’s mobile apps have won Apple Design Awards two years in a row, and about 575 million users have downloaded Yahoo apps.
Aside from updating Yahoo’s mobile site and apps, Mayer also sought to revitalize Yahoo’s reputation as a well-rounded media hub. Yahoo bought Tumblr, microblogging platform with 460 million users and counting, for $1.1 billion in May 2013. Image hosting site Flickr got a makeover, and so did the purple hued homepage. Mayer hired Katie Couric to be the face of Yahoo News and enlisted New York Times technology writer David Pogue to write for Yahoo’s tech section. She also employed the integration of natural, native ads that blend into the homepage’s design. While the CEO has faced criticism for her bold spending in her acquisitions, Mayer is firm in her philosophy: “consumers remember your average over time”. Releasing a steady stream of products may result in a flop or two, but taking risks will pay off.
Mayer’s involvement doesn’t stop at Google and Yahoo. Not only is she an avid investor of up and coming tech companies, she also sits on the board of directors for a variety of groups, including Walmart, New York City Ballet, and Jawbone. Her personal net worth sits at $300 million.