Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer – Significant facts

Famous as: CEO of Yahoo!
Full Name: Marissa Ann Mayer
Date of Birth: May 30, 1975
Birthplace: Wausau, Wisconsin
Nationality: American
Father: Michael Mayer
Mother: Margaret Mayer
Spouse: Zachary Bogue
Education: MS, Stanford University

One of the richest, youngest and the most brilliant women of the present era

Marissa Mayer is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Yahoo! She is one of the most popular young female executives in the world. She is a powerful woman in a male-dominated industry. Before Yahoo!, she spent most part of her career at the industry leader Google. Her unique design senses and logic are at present woven into everyday lives of people worldwide.

Early Life and Education of Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer was born on the 30th of May, 1975 in Wausau, Wisconsin. She is the eldest in the family and is the only daughter. She has a brother named Mason who is four years younger to her. Her father, Michael Mayer, was an environmental engineer. Her mother, Margaret Mayer, was an art teacher and stay-at-home mom who spent most of her time decorating their home with Marimekko prints (a Finnish company popular for its vibrant colored designs particularly against a white background). Actually, this design influenced the choice of Mayer for Google’s user interface many years later.

Mayer’s childhood was amazing as she attended a top class ballet school and had a lot of opportunities to explore her talents. Her parents were also committed to nurture her interests. They enrolled her in a number of classes including ballet, piano, skating, embroidery and cross stitch, brownies, cake decorating, skiing, swimming and golf. However, Marissa Mayer excelled in dancing. When she was in junior high school, she danced for about 35 hours a week. This made her learn poise and confidence as well as criticism and discipline. She went to Wausau West High School and graduated in 1993. Later, she joined Stanford University and earned her under graduation with honors in June 1997. In fact, she turned down Yale to attend Stanford. She did her masters in the same university as well and passed out in 1999. She chose “Artificial Intelligence” as her specialization in both BS and MS. While studying at Stanford, she served as a volunteer at a children’s hospital. She also involved herself to bring computer science education to various schools in Bermuda and in fact, started teaching her junior year. Marissa Mayer has received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in the year 2008.

Marissa Mayer – Career Curve

Marissa Mayer is known to have worked for nearly nine months at the UBS Research Lab situated in Zurich, Switzerland. Later she served at Menlo Park’s SRI International. Mayer’s introduction to Google is a little inauspicious. When she received a recruiting email from Google (which was then a small search engine company!), she actually thought she would delete that mail. However, she changed the idea as she had heard about the company from her professor; besides, her graduate studies too focused on the same lines the search engine company wanted to explore. Though she had already had job offers from Carnegie Mellon, Oracle and McKinsey, she decided to attend the interview with Google.

During the time of her interview, Google was a small team with seven employees and all being male. Google wanted Mayer to join the team as it thought it will give way for a better gender balance and the company would become stronger; however, Marissa Mayer did not accept the offer immediately. After a lot of forethought, she finally accepted the offer and in June 1999, she joined Google as the 20th employee hired by the company and its first ever female engineer.

Marissa Mayer worked hard to establish Google as a powerful search engine. She oversaw the development, entire code writing, launch of Gmail, iGoogle, Google Maps, Google Chrome, Google News and Google Health. Some of the biggest successes of Google including Google Earth, Images, Books and so much more were influenced by Mayer. Mayer held the position of the Vice President of Google in 2005. Her roles covered supervising Google’s mapping products, Google Local, location services, Street View and a number of other products. All through her 13-year tenure at Google, Google Search grew to a massive billion searches per day!

After serving for 13 years in Google from 1999, Marissa Mayer became the CEO of Yahoo! on the 17th of July, 2012. At Yahoo! she faced a very tough battle to bring back confidence, profitability and morale. Yahoo! has seen tremendous growth ever since Mayer held its reins.

Personal Life of Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer dated Larry Page, the current CEO of Google for about three years. Later in 2008, she started seeing Zach Bogue, an internet investor. They got married towards the end of 2009. They have one son born in October 2012.


  • Marissa Mayer owns a five million dollar luxury penthouse in San Francisco and a Craftsman home at Palo Alto.
  • Passionate about fashion and design, she is one of the elite customers of Oscar de la Renta.
  • Mayer is an enthusiastic collector of art pieces. Once she commissioned Dale Chihuly, the greatest glass artist to build a 400-piece ceiling installation that featured sea flora and fauna made of brown glass. Moreover, she owns the original masterpieces of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Sol LeWitt.
  • She is physically very active and has participated in the San Francisco half marathon and the Portland Marathon. She also has plans on doing the longest cross country ski race of North America, the Birkebeiner. What’s more, she has successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Mayer considers her unique ability to predict trends as her most important asset.
  • She requires just four hours of sleep a night.
  • A number of patents in interface design and artificial intelligence bear her name as inventor.
  • She calls herself a ‘geek’; however, with the blue eyes, blonde hair, and superb style, she has the good looks of a typical Hollywood actress.

Awards and Honors

  • Matrix Award, New York Women in Communications
  • Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum
  • Woman of the Year, Glamour magazine
  • 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, Fortune Magazine (She was the youngest woman to be included in this list at an early age of 33!)
  • The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women List, Forbes Magazine, 2013, 2014
  • Number One Position, The top 40 business stars under 40 years, Fortune Magazine, 2013

Famous Quotes by Marissa Mayer

“If you push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking risk, really amazing things can happen.”

“Difference in opinions of intelligent people is often explained by differences in their awareness.”

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