From hating being able to memorize formulae and notes and choosing Computer Science in 1993, to topping the Fortune magazine in its annual “40 Under 40” list of business leaders, in September 2013, there is one person who has loved taking risks and solving problems, though calculatingly. She is one of only 20 women running a Fortune 500 company. And its her birthday today. You are right! The now CEO of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) – Marissa Mayer.
Her love for thinking of a different problem everyday in a new and interesting way made her choose computer programming over medicine and the fact that it was not based on a formula or a recipe and it could not be easily memorized make her decision convincing enough for the shift.
With a net worth of over $300 million and having been the Fortune magazine’s youngest of “Most Powerful Women” at age 33 in 2008, Marissa Mayer is all down-to-earth and passionate about people and technology as ever.
After 13 years at Google, Marissa joined Yahoo! in 2012 and has been largely instrumental in the acquisition of Tumblr at $1.1 billion. She is addressed by Forbes as Yahoo’s “spender-in-chief”, having spent more than $100 million on 21 companies(apart from Tumblr) last year, largely for acqui-hires.
The Few Well Known Facts About Marissa Mayer:
1. For the past three years, Fortune magazine listed her on their Most Powerful Women’s list. At 35, she was the youngest ever to appear on that list.
2. “Young Global Leader” is also a name she has earned by the World Economic Forum and Glamour Magazine called her “Woman of the Year”
3. In class 12, Mayer already wanted to become a Pediatric Neurosurgeon but chose Symbolic Systems (hybrid between cognitive science, AI and human-computer interaction) major instead and got interested in it, pursuing further to gain a Master’s with specialization in artificial intelligence.
4. Her research internships at Stanford University and the Union Bank of Switzerland’s research lab in Zurich helped her net 14 job offers fresh out of graduate school.
5. She places high importance on helping her team find balance in their lives, identifying their non-work passions and to make certain those commitments remain a part of the fabric of each week.
But, Here Are Few Lesser Known, But More Interesting, Facts:
1. Marissa got accepted into all 10 schools that she applied to including Stanford, Yale and Harvard.
2. Marissa got into Computer science because it changed the way it was a way where the job alerts when you are finished and not the vice-versa that’s true in most other cases.
3. She taught programming classes to undergrads and considered becoming a full-time teacher. During this stint, she earned two teaching awards for her contribution to undergraduate education.
4. Mayer turned down a teaching job at Carnegie Mellon because she felt that it was a depressing place.
5. She almost deleted the email with the Job Offer from Google.
6. Marissa created a matrix, ranking each position on salary, location, chance of success, possibility of failure, career trajectory, and happiness quotient. Lot of the other startups she gave a 0.02% chance of succeeding and to Google she gave a 2% and projected the odds to be 50:1 that Google would fail.
7. She worked 250 full-nights during her first five years in Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).
8. Marissa’s first task at Google was to hang the Vinyl banner that said Google in front of the office.
8. She dated Google CEO and co-Founder Larry Page.
9. She always liked to work with the smartest people she could find and always did something she was a little not ready to do.
10. Marissa’s widely credited eye for design, landed her the responsible for approving each “Google Doodle” appearing on the Google home page.
11. She climbed the tallest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro in 2009.
12. She was the first pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 company, when she assumed office at Yahoo! in 2012.
13. Marissa started a program called Associate Product Managers program where she took fresh Computer Science Grads from colleges and gave them a lot of responsibility and shaped them on executive leadership.
14. She developed more than 75 different features in her tenure at Google.
And now her mission is getting more women into programming as she wishes to change the tech industry’s stereotypical misrepresented idea of a “geek”, into a role that women can identify with and say, “Yes, this is something I can be in and want to be in.”
Wish best wishes from our side and charm and go-getting attitude in her stride, that new endeavor would not be a hard task either.
The post is a part of a B’day series where we celebrate the birthday of a renowned personality from Tech Industry, regularly. The intend is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. To make it more exciting, we suggest you to make use of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.