From hating to memorize formulae and notes, to earning a Stanford master’s degree in computer science in 1999, to becoming the first female engineer at Google, to being among the top five on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list of business leaders for consecutive three years, to becoming the first female CEO of Yahoo! in 2012, but failing miserably to turn the table for the company and to finally resigning after Verizon completed the acquisition of troubled Yahoo! in 2017, there is one woman who has seen it all. And today is her birthday.
Her desire to think of a new and interesting problem every day led her to choose computer programming over medicine and the fact that it was not based on a formula or a recipe and could not be easily memorised swayed her to make the switch.
Full Name: Marissa Ann Mayer
Born: May 30, 1975 (age 46)
Net Worth: $800 Million (as of 2021)
Here are a few interesting yet less known facts about Marissa Mayer:
- Marissa Mayer earned a BS in symbolic systems in 1997 and an MS in computer science in 1999 from Stanford University. Her specialization for both degrees was artificial intelligence.
- After graduating from Stanford, Mayer received 14 job offers, including a teaching job at Carnegie Mellon University and a consulting job at McKinsey & Company. In June 1999, She joined Google as employee number 20.
- After two years as the first female Software Engineer at Google, Marissa Mayer was promoted to Product Manager, and after another two years, she was promoted to Director of Consumer Web Services. Mayer’s responsibilities grew with the company, she oversaw the development, code-writing, and launch of Gmail, Google Maps, iGoogle, Google Chrome, Google Health, and Google News. She was also a member of the three-person team in charge of Google AdWords.
- Between November 2005 and July 2012, Mayer served as Vice President – Google Search Products & User Experience, and Local, Maps & Location Services.
- While working at 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, she was only 33 years old at the time.
- Marissa Mayer is also known for her high-fashion sense, as she frequently wears Carolina Herrera and Alexander McQueen pieces. She once paid $60,000 at a charity auction to have lunch with fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. She also claimed that the designer’s three-quarter cashmere cardigan has become her work uniform. In May 2015, Mayer joined Jennifer Lawrence, Wendi Deng, and Gong Li as co-chairs of the Met Gala, which is widely regarded as the biggest night of the year for fashion.
- Marissa Mayer dated Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page in the early 2000s, according to the book “Googled” by Ken Auletta.
- In 2009, She was married to Zachary Bogue, a real-estate investor, and venture capitalist.
- On July 16, 2012, Mayer joined Yahoo! as the president and CEO. Even before joining the company, she made an announcement that spread like wildfire. It was and still is extremely rare for a woman to become the CEO of a publicly-traded Fortune 500 technology company, but it is even rarer for her to become pregnant. Marissa Mayer made history as the first pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 company. In April 2013, Mayer changed Yahoo!’s maternity leave policy, increasing the time allowance and offering a cash bonus to soon-to-be parents.
- 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. She had also played an instrumental role in the acquisition of Tumblr at $1.1 billion.
- In 2013, she was dubbed “Silicon Valley’s Spender-in-Chief” by Forbes after investing more than $1.2 billion in 22 companies in an effort to revitalise the talent pool.
- Marissa Mayer was ranked third, first, and sixth on Fortune’s 40 under 40 lists for 2012, 2013, and 2014. However, surprisingly in March 2016, Mayer was named one of the world’s 19 most disappointing leaders by Fortune magazine.
- By 2015, Mayer’s luck had run out when Yahoo was struggling to survive, its stocks fell more than 30% throughout the year, and 12 key executives left the company. Yahoo’s failure has been blamed on Marissa Mayer. Her “MaVeNS” strategy was a complete disaster. Her decision to get involved in each and every nitty-gritty of the development process, including hiring and firing, caused her to lose sight of the big picture.
- In June 2017, when Verizon closed a $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo!, Marissa Mayer announced her resignation from the position of CEO of Yahoo!. She would walk away with $23 million, according to the company filing.
- In March 2018, Mayer co-founded Lumi Labs (renamed Sunshine) with former Google colleague Enrique Munoz Torres. It’s an early-stage tech incubator in Palo Alto, California, primarily focused on building consumer applications enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- In 2021, Marissa Mayer was ranked 35th in Forbes’ America’s Richest Self-Made Women 2021 list.
The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from the Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators, or renewed leaders who moved the industry with their exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, Sir Richard Branson, and Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.