AIB Featured Business Leader Marissa Mayer

AIB Featured Business Leader  Marissa Mayer


As the current President and CEO of Yahoo!, Marissa Mayer has paved her way to become one of the most successful businesswomen in the world. Born in Wisconsin in 1975, Mayer went on to graduate with honours from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science in Symbolic Systems and a Master of Science in Computer Science. For both degrees she specialised in artificial intelligence and upon graduation in 1999 she received 14 separate job offers. Sensing that the organisation was full of intelligent and innovative people, Mayer chose to go with Google as her first employer. This made her employee number 20 at the now multi-billion dollar tech giant and the first female engineer to join the organisation since its inception. In 2008 Mayer also added to her higher education qualifications and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

After 13 years at Google in a number of senior roles, Mayer moved on to Yahoo! in 2012 in an attempt to turn the company around from a series of misfortunes. Since appointment, she has been responsible for a number of key decisions which has seen Yahoo! re-write its future and grow in ways that many believed were unachievable. In 2013 Mayer was named the 8th Most Powerful Businesswomen by Fortune Magazine and number 32 on the same list created by Forbes Magazine. Aside from her role at Yahoo!, she also sits on the board of various not-for-profit organisations including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet and the New York City Ballet.

What is unique about Mayer is her interesting outlook on a number of facets of business. For example, when asked about her work ethic, she said ‘I pace myself by taking a week-long vacation every four months’. Many executives are known to work for months on end without taking any holidays however Mayer makes it a priority in order to increase her productivity. She also touches on her preference to work with intelligent people stating that ‘working with smart people challenges you to think and work on another level than you thought possible’. Whilst Mayer has received her fair share of complaints about her business decisions and work ethic at Yahoo!, she has undoubtedly had a positive influence on the revival of the brand.

I think that anyone who receives 14 job offers straight out of university is certainly someone to admire, but I am interested to hear your views. What do you think about the rise to success of Marissa Mayer? Have you worked with someone who has unique views but has been successful? Also, if you would like to see us profile a particular business leader then please leave a comment below.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: The Australian; Brainy Quote; and Business Insider. Image Credit – Getty Images

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