Marissa Mayer is one of the highest profile women in the tech industry. She previously served as the president and chief executive officer of Yahoo! for five years, during which time she led the internet giant’s push to reinvent itself for the mobile era, while creating more than $40 billion of shareholder value. Before that, Mayer spent 13 years at Google, where she famously joined as the twentieth employee and first woman engineer.
During her tenure at Google, she tackled leadership positions in numerous projects and played an integral role in product management. In recognition of her trailblazing career, over the years the Silicon Valley executive has received numerous honors and awards. In 2011 Mayer was the youngest woman that year to make the Forbes list of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business." Glamour magazine also named her "Woman of the Year." In addition, Mayer has served on numerous boards, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet, the New York City Ballet, and Walmart Stores. Currently she holds a dozen patents across the areas of artificial intelligence and interface design.
Intending to pursue a career in medicine, Mayer instead discovered her love for computers while a student at Stanford University. In addition to this major pivot, she also stayed very busy on campus. At Stanford, she danced in the university ballet's Nutcracker, was a member of parliamentary debate, volunteered at children's hospitals, and helped bring computer science education to Bermuda's schools. During her junior year, she taught a class in symbolic systems, her major, in which she later earned a Bachelor of Sciences degree by 1997. She stayed at Stanford for graduate school so that she could focus on artificial intelligence. In 1999, Mayer received her Master of Science degree in computer science from the Stanford University School of Engineering.
Mayer is well known for having longstanding ties with her alma mater, which is in close proximity to the booming tech scene of Silicon Valley. More than anything, she's shown a willingness to take time out of her busy CEO schedule to return to campus as a speaker and expert for multiple public events over the years. Notably, in 2010 and 2011 Mayer was asked to be the keynote speaker at tech-related events held at Stanford. While more recently in 2017, Mayer was back on campus for her ‘View From the Top’ talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she counseled the students to, "Look for the smartest people and do something you feel a little unprepared to do." On top of that, in 2018, Mayer joined the Board of Directors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, continuously strengthening her already enduring connection to her alma mater.