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July 17th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Marissa Mayer: From Google 'geek' to Yahoo CEO

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) - Google's first female engineer, Marissa Mayer, has made a career out of bucking expectations - and she did so once again on Monday by announcing she will leave Google to be the new CEO of Yahoo, the struggling company that once was Google's main competitor.

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The tech world reacted with shock to the news. But it's perhaps time everyone got used to the idea that Mayer, who was Google's 20th employee and who is credited with the success of many of its most famous products, isn't the kind of person who does only what people expect her to do.

"There is such a stereotype of the hacker - the pasty-skinned guy with the thick glasses, the pocket protector, the blue glow coming off of the monitor ... people think if they're going to be good at this, that's what they need to be," Mayer told CNN in an interview earlier this year.

"You can be good at technology and like fashion and art. You can be good at technology and be a jock. You can be good at technology and be a mom. You can do it your way, on your terms."

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Mayer, sometimes referred to as the "Googirl," certainly has charted her own course, often weaving seemingly disparate worlds and interests together.

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Raised in Wausau, Wisconsin, the 37-year-old joined Google in 1999 when it was a fledgling start-up, not an Internet titan. She danced in "The Nutcracker" ballet at Stanford and earned a degree in computer science. She espouses a love for cupcakes - but, according to interviews with other news organizations, once created a spreadsheet to determine the perfect recipe.

At Google, Mayer was responsible for overseeing the launch of some of the company's most iconic products, including Gmail, Google Maps and iGoogle.

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  1. William Wilberforce

    Beautiful Lady!

    July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |