Yahoo has turned to the executive ranks of its main competitor Google for a new top executive, appointing Marissa Mayer as president, CEO and member of the board.
The move was something of a surprise as many had expected interim CEO Ross Levinsohn to get the nod for the top job. Yahoo's previous CEO, Scott Thompson, left after revelations that he had lied about his credentials.
In the new post, Mayer faces a difficult challenge of trying to revitalize a pioneering online brand that has fallen significantly behind Google, Facebook and others in recent years.
In making the announcement, Yahoo noted that the appointment of a top Google executive with a long track record for introducing new products "signals a renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue."
"Marissa is a well-known, visionary leader in user experience and product design and one of Silicon Valley's most exciting strategists in technology development," noted Yahoo cofounder David Filo in a statement. "I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo's product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors."
"I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo, one of the internet's premier destinations for more than 700 million users," Mayer added in a statement. "I look forward to working with the company's dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world."
Mayer joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employee and for many years led efforts on many of its most notable products including the development of its flagship search product and iconic homepage for over 10 years.
Most recently, Mayer was responsible for Local, Maps, and Location Services for Google, a group of products that includes Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile.
She will join Yahoo on Tuesday, July 17.