Google’s Mayer gets new gig as Google focuses on local, location


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Signaling Google’s increasing focus on local businesses and location services to boost its supercharged online advertising business, Marissa Mayer is taking a new role overseeing those areas.

Mayer, Google Inc.’s vice president of search products and its first female engineer, has also been promoted to the company’s operating committee, the elite group that makes key decisions such as whether to leave China or buy YouTube. Mayer is the youngest person on the committee.


[Updated 3:21 pm: ‘Marissa is moving over to an exciting new role covering geo/local, which is crucial to our users and the future of Google,’ a Google spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. ‘Marissa has made an amazing contribution on search over the last decade, and we’re excited about her input in this new area in the decade ahead.’

More than 90% of Google’s revenue comes from online advertising. Google is increasingly looking to expand beyond traditional desktop search. One area getting a lot of attention is location, with the rise of Foursquare and other hot startups.

‘Google has a deep bench in search. On the flip side, there is a pending multibillion-dollar yellow pages business which the company has not figured out that is up for grabs. So it’s moving one of the star generals from a business that is stable to one that is for the gettin’,’ a person familiar with the situation said.]

Mayer is credited with helping to roll out more than 100 features and products on the site including a faster Web search last month called ‘instant’ that gives users results as they type their queries. She is also one of the most visible executives at Google, often appearing on television and conferences as the company’s public face.

Mayer will be replaced on the search team by Udi Manber, vice president of engineering for Web search and a veteran of search at Yahoo and Amazon.

Check out this interview we did with Mayer in 2008 as Google celebrated its 10th anniversary.


-- Jessica Guynn