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Yahoo poaches Google star

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Silicon Valley stunned

Yahoo has stunned Silicon Valley by appointing one of Google’s key players as its new chief.

Marissa Mayer, 37, takes up the position of Yahoo’s president, CEO and member of the board of directors from today. The appointment makes her Yahoo’s third CEO in less than a year. She has spent the last 13 years at Google, becoming the company’s 20th employee when she joined in 1999, just a year after it was founded.

Key roles at Google

During that time, Ms Mayer has held a range of crucial jobs at Google. Most recently, she was vice president of local, maps and location services – a post that involved her overseeing products such as Google Maps, Google Street View, Google Earth and local search. However, she first joined the company as an engineer before branching out into design and product management roles. Gmail, Google News, iGoogle, Google Images and Google Books are just some of the products she is credited with helping to develop, while she also shaped the look and feel of the Google homepage.

The news has been warmly received by analysts. Charles Arthur, technology editor at the Guardian, praised a move that he thought demonstrated Yahoo was repositioning itself as a technology-led rather than content-led business and described Ms Mayer as “probably one of only a handful of people who could save the company from sinking into oblivion”. And Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Land, agreed, saying: “Mayer’s appointment is one of the few hopeful signs of a [Yahoo] turnaround I’ve seen for ages.”

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: “It’s exciting that Yahoo seems to be focusing its efforts on new technology. If Ms Mayer is given the time and freedom to develop products that change the face of the web, in the way that she did at Google, then Yahoo could be a force to be reckoned with once again.

Written by Richard Frost

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