And Your New Yahoo! CEO is…

Google employee no. 20, Marissa Mayer. Interesting and unexpected move.

In an interview, Ms. Mayer said she “had an amazing time at Google,” where she has worked for the last 13 years, but that ultimately “it was a reasonably easy decision” to take the top job at Yahoo. She said Yahoo was “one of the best brands on the Internet.”

She recalled that when she first started at Google, the company would conduct user surveys and “people didn’t understand the difference between Yahoo and the Internet.” She said she hoped “to get focused on creating a really great user experiences” and to attract new talent from Silicon Valley to the company. “Talent is what drives technology companies,” she said. Some of Ms. Mayer’s close colleagues at Google included Bret Taylor, the chief technology officer at Facebook, and Brian Rakowski, the vice president in charge of Google Chrome and the product manager who introduced Gmail.

As she hashes out Yahoo’s strategy, Ms. Mayer said she was intent on leveraging the Internet company’s strong franchises including e-mail, finance and sports. She also hopes to do more with its video broadband and its mobile businesses.

Good luck. She’s going to need it.

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