This will be considered a coup for the search giant, which has been struggling to stay relevant amid cost-cutting and heavy competition from Facebook and Google. But for Mayer, it's a chance to actually run a company, something that might not be possible at Google (even though she was one of the most visible executives and the company's first woman engineer). She replaces Scott Thompson, who resigned over irregularities involving his academic credentials. From the NYT:
Ms. Mayer, 37, had for years been responsible for the look and feel of Google's most popular products: the famously unadorned white search homepage, Gmail, Google News and Google Images. More recently, Ms. Mayer, an engineer by training whose first job at Google included computer programming, was put in charge of the company's location and local services, including Google Maps, overseeing more than 1,000 product managers. She also sat on Google's operating committee, part of a small circle of senior executives who had the ear of Google's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
As she hashes out Yahoo's strategy, Ms. Mayer said she is intent on leveraging the Internet company's strong franchises including email, finance and sports. She also hopes to do more with its video broadband and its mobile businesses. Still, Ms. Mayer is unlikely to try to make Yahoo a direct competitor to Google in the world of search. In 2009, Yahoo gave up its search engine and partnered with Microsoft, which was seen by some analysts as a concession that it couldn't compete. "I actually think the partnership has been a positive for the company," she said.