Marissa Mayer starts her new job as president and chief executive officer of Yahoo tomorrow, July 16, an appointment that surprised industry observers when Yahoo announced it today. She also joins the Yahoo board of directors.

Mayer is a highly regarded executive with considerable experience, especially in regards to developing, managing and refining the user experience. Yahoo had been expected to choose Ross Levinsohn, who has had a successful run as interim CEO and who also serves as Yahoo’s executive vice president and head of global media.

Mayer steps into the harsh Yahoo spotlight having been at Google, which she joined in 1999 as its 20th employee and first female engineer. She most recently was responsible for Google’s Local, Maps, and Location Services, including desktop and mobile Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View and local search. Mayer previously led the development of the company’s search product and other user experiences including Gmail and Google News.

“Yahoo’s products will continue to enhance our partnerships with advertisers, technology and media companies, while inspiring and delighting our users. There is a lot to do and I can’t wait to get started,” Mayer said.

“The Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Marissa’s unparalleled track record in technology, design, and product execution makes her the right leader for Yahoo at this time of enormous opportunity,” said Fred Amoroso, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Yahoo co-Founder David Filo said, “Marissa is a well-known, visionary leader in user experience and product design and one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting strategists in technology development. I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo’s product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors.”

Related links:

Yahoo – press release

New York Times – Google’s Marissa Mayer Becomes Yahoo’s Chief

Wall Street Journal – Google’s Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo CEO

Mercury News – Yahoo names Google exec Marissa Mayer as new CEO, passing over Ross Levinsohn

Forbes – Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo! CEO: New Most Powerful Woman In Tech?

Bloomberg – Marissa Mayer Is the New Yahoo CEO

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