Marissa Mayer

From hating to memorize formulae and notes, choosing Computer Science in 1993, topping the Fortune magazine in its annual “40 Under 40” list of business leaders in 2013, becoming the CEO of Yahoo! in 2012, failing measurably to turn the table for Yahoo! and to finally resigning from the post after Verizon completes the acquisition of troubled Yahoo! in 2017, there is one person who has loved taking risks and solving problems, though calculatingly. And it’s her birthday today.

You are right! The former President and Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO!) – Marissa Mayer.

Her love for thinking of a different problem every day 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.

While working in Google as the Vice President of Search Products and User Experience, Marissa Mayer became the first youngest woman ever to make the list of Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women” in 2008. Surprisingly, at that time she was just 33 years old.

After 13 years at Google, Marissa joined Yahoo! in 2012 and had been largely instrumental in the acquisition of Tumblr at $1.1 billion. She was addressed by Forbes as Silicon Valley’s “spender-in-chief” in 2013, as she spent more than $1.2 billion in 22 companies in an effort to reinvigorate the talent pool.

The Few Well Known Facts About Marissa Mayer:

1. At 33, Marissa Mayer was the youngest ever to appear in Fortune magazine’s most sought after Most Powerful Women’s 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 (a 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 get 14 job offers fresh out of graduate school.

5. She placed 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.

6. In her second year of tenure as CEO at Yahoo!, she led Alibaba.com, the business-to-business trading portal in which Yahoo! has a 24% stake, to prepare to go public.

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, the chance of success, the possibility of failure, career trajectory, and happiness quotient. A 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. Marissa Mayer 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 responsibility 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. On June 2017, when Verizon closed $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo!, Marissa Mayer had announced her resignation from the position of CEO – Yahoo!. She would walk away with $23 million, according to the company filing.

15. In 2018, Mayer cofounded Lumi Labs, an early-stage tech incubator in Palo Alto, California, primarily focused on building consumer applications enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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.

With best wishes from our side and charm and go-getting attitude in her stride, that new endeavour 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 make use of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality. 

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