Beyond the two company co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, perhaps no other executive better symbolized the new breed of brilliant young technologist in charge at Google than Marissa Mayer.
By any measure, Mayer, appointed this afternoon as Yahoo's new chief executive, boasts one of Silicon Valley's stellar resumes.
The first female engineer and 20th employee overall hired by the then-upstart search company, Mayer rapidly distinguished herself at Google, which she joined after graduating from Stanford University with a masters degree in computer science, specializing in artificial intelligence.
Both as the executive in charge of search products and user experience, and later as VP of local, maps and localization services, Mayer was put in charge of fast-growing businesses that proved instrumental to Google's exponential growth in the last decade.
In particular, Mayer solidified her superstar cred while running the show when the number of daily searches on Google exploded from a few hundred thousand to over a billion searches. She also had a big hand in the design and development of the search interface which soon secured its place in the popular lexicon. What's more, Mayer had a hand in helping to chart the future of Google News, Gmail, and the Orkut social network.
Among the list of Mayer's accomplishments, Yahoo cited her role in helping to launch "more than 100 features and products including image, book, and product search; toolbar; iGoogle; Google News; and Gmail -- creating much of the "look and feel" of the Google user experience."
"Since arriving at Google just over 13 years ago as employee number 20, Marissa has been a tireless champion of our users," Page said in a prepared statement. "She contributed to the development of our Search, Geo, and Local products as well as many other product areas. We will miss her talents at Google."
Marissa Mayer talks to Charlie Rose and Gayle Kind on CBS This Morning, May 30, 2012