Marissa Mayer Biography

(Former President and CEO of 'Yahoo!')

Birthday: May 30, 1975 (Gemini)

Born In: Wausau, Wisconsin, USA

Marissa Mayer is an American information technology executive, businesswoman and investor who is the co-founder of Lumi Labs, a technology incubator focused on consumer internet technologies. She served as the president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Yahoo! for five years, during which time she increased the platform's mobile user base by reinventing it for improved mobile experience. However, as the shares of the company continued to drop during her tenure and it was eventually acquired by Verizon Communication, she was not retained to join the new combined company Oath (now Verizon Media). She previously spent 13 years at Google where she designed the homepage and improved Google Search, apart from contributing to various key decisions for almost every product offered by the company, including Google Maps, Gmail and Google News. She has been named among most powerful people in the business industry several times by various media outlets over the years.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Marissa Ann Mayer

Age: 49 Years, 49 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Zachary Bogue (m. 2009)

father: Michael Mayer

mother: Margaret Mayer

Born Country: United States

CEOs Business Women

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Females

U.S. State: Wisconsin

Ancestry: Finnish American

More Facts

education: Stanford University

Childhood & Early Life

Marissa Ann Mayer was born on May 30, 1975, in Wausau, Wisconsin, United States, to Finnish mother Margaret—an art teacher—and Michael Mayer—an environmental engineer working for water companies. Growing up with younger brother Mason, she was influenced by her parents in art and science, and admired her grandfather who, despite having polio at 7, served as mayor of Jackson, Wisconsin, for 32 years.

Although "painfully shy", she was pushed by her mother to experience different opportunities by learning ballet, ice-skating, piano, swimming, and debate, and also did a summer job as a grocery clerk. She excelled in science subjects at Wausau West High School, where she won the Wisconsin state championship as captain of the debate team and led the pom-pom squad to the state runner-up position.

After completing school graduation in 1993, she represented Wisconsin at the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia as one of two delegates selected by Governor Tommy Thompson. She was accepted into 10 institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Duke, and Northwestern, but chose Stanford University to take pre-med classes with the aim of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon.

Eager to seek something that would make her think, she took an introductory computer science class by Eric Roberts, and subsequently switched major to symbolic systems which combined philosophy, cognitive psychology, linguistics, and computer science. She was mentored by Roberts who encouraged her to take some classes in symbolic systems, which were well-received, and she earned her bachelor's degree with honors in 1997 for her thesis on travel recommendation software.

She stayed at Stanford for her master’s degree in computer science with special focus in artificial intelligence, which was completed in 1999. During this period, she spent nine months as an intern at Ubilab, in Zurich, Switzerland, then the research arm of the Swiss investment firm, UBS and SRI International, in Menlo Park, California.

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Career at Google

Following graduation, Marissa Mayer had to choose between a fulltime teaching position and working in the technology industry from among 14 job offers from the likes of Oracle, McKinsey & Company, and Carnegie Mellon University. She picked Google to surround herself with smart people who will challenge her to grow, and joined the company as their 20th employee, and the first female engineer, on June 23, 1999.

Starting out as a coder who oversaw small teams of engineers, she soon impressed with her attention to detail while developing and designing, and was promoted to Product Manager in July 2001. In 2002, she launched the mentorship initiative called the Associate Product Manager (APM) program, a two-year-long evening course through which she selected few junior employees to be mentored for leadership roles with intensive extracurricular assignments.

She became the Director of Consumer Web Services in March 2003, and in November 2005, was made Vice President of Search Products and User Experience; in this position she oversaw 200 product managers.

In October 2010, CEO Eric Schmidt asked her to take over as the Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services, and was also named to Google’s operating committee of top decision-makers.

Marissa Mayer is credited for the layout of Google's familiar homepage with bold fonts on white background, inspired by Marimekko prints her artist mother hung around her childhood home. At Google, she performed quality checks on almost every service the company offered and also acted as a gatekeeper to confounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and CEO Schmidt.

She was on the three-person team that developed Google AdWords, an advertising platform through which businesses can attract potential customers, which generated 96% of the company's revenue in Q1 2011. Also that year, she was instrumental in Google acquiring survey site Zagat for $125 million.

Yahoo! & Later Career

Marissa Mayer, who had insisted amidst rumors back in 2008 that she was not leaving Google, eventually left the company after being appointed president and CEO of Yahoo! on July 16, 2012. Joining at a time when the Google rival was struggling with competition and its top management, she introduced the PB&J program to collect employee votes on problem areas to address.

Labeled corporate America’s most famous working mother, she returned to office in early 2013 after giving birth to a boy and introduced a highly criticized policy change banning employees from working remotely from home. She increased maternity leave and cash bonus for employees, but was accused of gender-based discrimination against male employees for introducing a performance review system based on a bell curve ranking.

Yahoo! shareholders became increasingly critical of Mayer as the company's stocks continued to fall, staff was reduced by 50%, and she failed to reverse the trend of declining user footprint while Google's increased consistently. After Yahoo! was acquired by Verizon in June 2017, she announced her resignation, mentioning some of her achievements during her 5-year tenure as CEO of the company.

She later rented the Palo Alto, California, office where she first began working for Google and later on co-founded the artificial intelligence and consumer media company Lumi Labs with former colleague, Enrique Munoz Torres.

Marissa Mayer sits on the boards of directors of companies like Walmart and Jawbone, and has made business investments in various technology companies such as Minted,, uBeam, Square, One Kings Lane, Natera, and Nootrobox.

Family & Personal Life

Marissa Mayer, who dated Google's Larry Page for three years, began a relationship with lawyer and internet investor, Zach Bogue, in January 2008 and married him in December 2009. She gave birth to son Macallister on September 30, 2012, and later welcomed identical twin girls, Marielle and Sylvana, in December 2015.

She resides with her family and her pet dog Rover, an Aibo robot, in the $5 million luxury penthouse atop the Four Seasons hotel in San Francisco. She is an art collector, a cupcake aficionado and actively participates in marathons.

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