Marissa Mayer Stories June 14, 2017

Yesterday was Marissa Mayer’s official departure from Yahoo, where she served as CEO since 2012. After many years of her trying to turn the company around, shareholders finally put Yahoo to its independent death earlier this month with their votes to approve Yahoo’s sale to Verizon.

Mayer is walking away with a hefty $260 million, though, and apparently has her mind on one big life change: she gets to use Gmail again, a product she helped create.

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Marissa Mayer Stories July 2, 2015

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Yahoo is currently including Google ads in some of its search results in what the company described to the NY Times as a “small test.” The ads were first spotted by SEO Book.

Yahoo confirmed on Wednesday that it has begun testing the use of Google search ads for a small portion of its desktop and mobile web search results. “As we work to create the absolute best experiences for Yahoo users, from time to time, we run small tests with a variety of partners including search providers,” the company said.

Google offered Yahoo an ad partnership all the way back in 2008, but pulled out after objections from the Department of Justice on antitrust grounds …  expand full story

Marissa Mayer Stories May 20, 2015

‘Don’t forget to be bold,’ Sergey Brin told Marissa Mayer as she walked out the door at Google

Marissa Mayer, current CEO of Yahoo and former executive at Google, received some important advice from Google founder Sergey Brin as she walked out the door to join the Sunnyvale, California company in July, 2012.

While she tends to be more iterative and careful when it comes to making decisions, long-time friend and colleague Sergey wanted to remind her that there’s also value in being bold.

“As an engineer, my tendency is to be more conservative—to be more iterative. Even on innovation, I would rather bring out an early product and slowly make it better,” she told Fortune in a recent interview.

“Right as I left, I had my hand on the door. I said “Sergey, it’s time for me to go. I gotta go.” And I had my hand on the door, and he said “Marissa, wait.” And I turned around, and he looked at me and said, “Don’t forget to be bold.””

Mayer says that this encounter has helped her make what she hopes will be truly transformational decisions at Yahoo. Especially in those big decision moments, like deciding to acquire Tumblr, she said that she hears these words replaying in her head every day.

Watch the full video interview below:

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Marissa Mayer Stories November 19, 2014

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Mozilla and Yahoo today announced a joint five-year “strategic” partnership that will see the Firefox browser’s default search engine change to Yahoo. Since 2004, Google has been the default search engine for Firefox, but when the agreement came to an end this year, Mozilla said that it decided to make a change.

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Marissa Mayer Stories April 16, 2014

Jony Ive and Marissa Mayer eat pizza with other industry executives

Jony Ive and Marissa Mayer (right) eat pizza with other industry executives

Re/code reports that Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is planning an attempt at persuading Apple to switch its default iOS search engine from Google to her company’s own offering. According to Re/code’s sources, Mayer has built what she hopes will be a convincing arguement in favor of the change.

Yahoo! current powers the weather and stocks apps and Notification Center widgets found in iOS 7 as well as a few Siri functions, such as sports, but lost out on the chance to power Siri’s web search to Microsoft’s Bing. Both Yahoo! and Bing are included as optional search engines in the Safari browser, but the default selection is Google.

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Marissa Mayer Stories December 18, 2013

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Update: TechCrunch reports that this video is fake.

Update #2: TechCrunch now reports the video is real and commissioned by Yahoo!, but not a real product yet.

With Yahoo’s acquisition of SkyPhrase, a natural language processing startup this month questions immediately arose as to how Yahoo would incorporate the technology. Now, thanks to a video on Daily Motion discovered by Android Police, we may have our answer as Yahoo prepares a Google Now/Siri voice-controlled personal assistant.

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Marissa Mayer Stories October 15, 2012

Henrique De Castro

A new report from tech website AllThingsD suggested Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is currently ramping up efforts to poach a key Google advertising executive, Henrique De Castro, for either a COO or lead ad role.

AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, who cited “sources close to the situation” and “numerous sources,” noted De Castro’s silence to his staff on the matter is an indication that her reporting is spot-on:

In fact, after reports surfaced several months ago here and elsewhere that Mayer was interested in him, De Castro told his staff at Google that he was not leaving.

That does appear to be the case now, according to numerous sources.

This past week, De Castro canceled a major off-site for his employees and several attendees who know him well said he was not present at the company’s first night of its annual Zeitgeist event for advertising and publishing clients. The suave De Castro is usually a more noticeable fixture at such gatherings.

When reached last night, De Castro said he would be attending Zeitgeist, but declined to comment further.

While Mayer has not been very successful at luring executives from various tech companies, the report further mentioned Yahoo’s current revenue guru and former Googler, Michael Barret, is reportedly not planning to stay with his search company for the long term. De Castro and Barrett also allegedly do not have the best coworker relationship…

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Marissa Mayer Stories August 8, 2012

In a recent interview with Forbes regarding benefits for Google employees, Google Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock explained the company has recently announced death benefits for Googlers.

“This might sound ridiculous,” Bock told me recently in a conversation on the ever-evolving benefits at Google, “But we’ve announced death benefits at Google.”

According to Bock, spouses of Googlers whom pass away while employed at the company will continue to receive 50 percent of the employee’s annual salary for 10 years following. Children will also receive $1,000 monthly until they reach 19 (or 23 if they are a full-time student): expand full story

Marissa Mayer Stories July 16, 2012

The NYTimes has the story:

  • The appointment of Ms. Mayer, who was employee No. 20 at Google and was one of the few public faces of the company, is considered a surprising coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top flight talent in its battle with competitors like Google and Facebook.
  • 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.

Mayer has been on the outs for some time at Google, and she did not show for Google I/O this year. She moved up the food chain from being Google employee No. 20 and first female engineer. Mayer’s rise took her from engineer to project manager to Director of Consumer Web Services to VP of Search Products and User Experience, and finally to Location in a broad shift. She was also on the very influential “Operating Committee” of high ranking officers.

However, she was not promoted as one of Larry Page’s seven business heads when he re-took over the company last year.

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Mayer is on Walmart’s board of directors, and she briefly dated Google CEO Page who said:

“Since arriving at Google just over 13 years ago as employee #20, Marissa has been a tireless champion of our users. She contributed to the development of our Search, Geo, and Local products. We will miss her talents at Google.”

Mayer said,

“I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users.  I look forward to working with the Company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world.”

The press release is below. 

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Marissa Mayer Stories June 4, 2012

According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is preparing to launch a new ad service and tools aimed at small businesses as soon as July. Noting that the new service was once called “Business Builder” internally, the report claimed it will consist of various products that have been developed by Google and technologies/services acquired through the purchases of over six companies at a cost of roughly half a billion dollars since last year. The source claimed Google is hoping the new service will bring in billions in new revenue each year.

A few of the acquisitions mentioned in the report include in-store loyalty program Punchd and SMS customer interaction serviceTalkBin. The service would also include aspects of AdWords Express, Google Offers, Google Wallet, and several new products.

The report explained the Google+ angle: expand full story

Marissa Mayer Stories May 17, 2012

And the official 2012 Google Doodle winner is….

Dylan Hoffman of Caledonia, Wisc., is the 2012 United States Doodle 4 Google National Winner.

According to Google’s Vice President of Project Management Marissa Mayer, the second-grader’s “Pirate Times” doodle, featured above, will go live on the U.S. Google homepage May 18. Hoffman entered his illustrated response to this year’s  “If I could travel in time I’d visit…”, and then he landed the No. 1 spot and won a treasure chest of prizes, such as: a $30,000 college scholarship; a Chromebook computer; and, a $50,000 technology grant for Prairie School. His doodle will also appear on the Crayola 64-crayon special edition box this fall.

The annual contest received a record 114,000 submissions, while millions of public votes helped determine the winner. The full list of runner-ups is available on the official Google blog, and each winner will receive a $5,000 college scholarship.

Marissa Mayer Stories April 16, 2012

Earlier today, Walmart published a press release on its corporate website announcing that Google’s Vice President of Local, Maps and Location services Marissa A. Mayer has been nominated for the company’s Board of Directors. In addition to an announcement claiming she’s “very excited” about the nomination on her Google+ page, Mayer made a full statement in the press release:

“I am very excited to be nominated for the Walmart board… I have long been a customer and admirer of the company. Walmart is an amazing story of entrepreneurship and, as one of the world’s most powerful brands, touches millions of lives every day. I look forward to contributing to Walmart’s continued growth, success, and innovation in the years to come.”

Walmart will vote to elect Mayer at its Annual Shareholders’ meeting June 1. The company’s full press release is below: expand full story

Marissa Mayer Stories October 25, 2011

Seen in the viral video above endorsing Ed Lee for mayor of San Francisco is Google’s vice president of Local, Maps & Location Services Marissa Mayer, and, director of Product Management focused on YouTube, Hunter Walk. You might also notice a couple of other notable appearances including Twitter’s Biz Stone, and will.i.am of  The Black Eye Peas. expand full story

Marissa Mayer Stories May 30, 2011

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On the possibility of Apple dropping Google Maps (we’ve heard they aren’t): Mayer says there are 200 million active users of Maps and in June more people will use them on mobile than the desktop. (Although at 100 million iPhones out there, an Apple exodus would put a monster dent in those numbers. Also, new Google Mobile Maps (not iOS) use vector tiles which can be up to 100 times smaller files than the traditional bitmap tiles.

Also, location is getting better as more data is input (learning), especially in big cities like New York with check-ins helping out.

Finally, she expects phones to know what you want before you ask, called ‘serendipity’ or ‘zero-click’.

Full transcript available here.

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