|By Maureen O'Gara||
|July 17, 2012 08:45 AM EDT||
Yahoo's going with another plainspoken blonde.
After the market closed Monday Yahoo's board named Marissa Mayer, one of Google's first employees and long-time protector of the stripped-down look of Google's homepage, CEO replacing interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.
The Yahoo board is taking another flyer on Mayer, 37, considering she's coming out of Google's product side, responsible for the look and feel of such things as Google Mail, Google News and since 2010 Google Maps and other Google location and local services. She has no CEO or turnaround experience. She did sit on Google's operating committee and is on the board of Wal-Mart.
It's speculated that the Third Point contingent on Yahoo's board, who got there recently by way of a threatened proxy fight, were instrumental in recruiting her. Presumably they think Yahoo's products and technology need an overhaul to get more competitive with Google and Facebook.
She takes over Tuesday having reportedly resigned from Google Monday afternoon by phone according to the New York Times, which broke the story.
Negotiations over the job have reportedly been going on for the last month.
She will arrive at the company in time for Yahoo's earnings Tuesday.
An engineer by training, Mayer joins the tiny circle of women CEOs running big high-tech companies including IBM CEO Ginny Rometty and HP CEO Meg Whitman. She will be Yahoo's fourth CEO since it bid farewell to Carol Bartz last year.
Scott Thompson, who was hired in January from PayPal and fired four months later after Third Point discovered he fudged his resume, proved the most destabilizing after he sued Yahoo partner Facebook for patent infringement and threatened thousands of job cuts.
Levinsohn, who it was widely believed would be named CEO, managed to end the rift with Facebook with a cross-licensing deal and a deeper partnership a few weeks ago.