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Marissa Mayer, top Google executive, selected as next CEO of Yahoo

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Marissa Mayer, an executive at Google who ran its Search product, will be the next CEO of Yahoo, The New York Times reports.

Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer, an executive at Google who ran its Search product, will be the next CEO of Yahoo. While the news comes as a bit of a surprise — some speculated that the company would tap Ross Levinsohn for the role — Mayer comes to Yahoo with a long list of credentials. Mayer was the first female hired at Google and was among the first employees to join the company. She was considered a top executive at the company near the level of Schmidt, Page, and Brin — though during last year's reorganization at Google she was pushed by Page from Search to become Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services.

Mayer's predecessor, Scott Thompson, was ousted from Yahoo's top spot after his falsified resume was discovered — but this time the company's new CEO comes with a real MS degree in computer science from Stanford. Still, she'll have an uphill battle at the once-flourishing web giant, which is still going through an extensive restructuring effort that came with a 14% workforce reduction and the shuttering of 50 services.

The New York Times reports that Mayer resigned from Google by telephone this afternoon, and that she starts at Yahoo as the new CEO and as a board member on Tuesday. Mayer tells the Times that she "had an amazing time at Google," but that "it was a reasonably easy decision" to join Yahoo -- calling it "one of the best brands on the internet." She says that when she first started at Google, "people didn't understand the difference between Yahoo and the internet."

Ben Popper and Tim Carmody contributed to this report.