Google’s Vice President Marissa Mayer Switches Jobs

Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president for search products and user experience, has taken on a new role within the company focusing on location-based services.

Google has confirmed that Marissa Mayer, who has overseen the company's search products for years, has been given a new assignment, managing the company's geo/local products. Photo: Google

Marissa Mayer, Google Inc.’s vice president of search products, is taking a new role overseeing location and local services – markets the company is counting on to boost sales, the Mountain View, California-based company said today in the E-mail.

“Marissa is moving over to an important new role covering geo/local, which is also crucial to our users and Google. She has made an amazing contribution on search over the last decade, and we’re looking forward to what she will achieve in the decade ahead,” the company’s spokesman said.

Marissa Mayer, who joined Google in 1999, as the company’s first female engineer and its only 20th employee, is also joining the search giant’s operating committee – which is the most senior management group.

According to several reports, the company is putting more focus on location services and local businesses, in an attempt to grow its revenue beyond its search advertising model.

Mayer’s powerful influence in the tech world has grown in tandem with the meteoric rise of Google and seen her achieve countless accolades, such as in 2008, at the age of 33, becoming the youngest woman ever to be included on Fortune’s most powerful women list (number 50).

Location-based services, such as Foursquare and the recently launched Facebook Places, have come to the fore in the last 12 months, as technology companies try to tap into the value of real-time, locally served advertising, made possible by smart devices.

Mayer said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph last year that the next big breakout area for Google would be language. “Imagine what it would be like if there was a tool built into the search engine which translated my search query into every language and then searched the entire world’s websites,” she said.

“And then invoked the translation software a second and third time – to not only then present the results in your native language, but then translated those sites in full when you clicked through,” she added.

Mayer designed and developed the company’s search interface and expanded the site to more than 100 languages, according to Google.

She has helped introduce 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 in queries.

However, search has yet to become fully omnivorous under Mayer’s leadership. This role will now fall to Udi Manber, vice president of engineering for web search. A Google spokesman added: “We are delighted that Udi Manber will head up search across Google.”

“It’s the heart of our company and he is an outstanding computer scientist, with over twenty years experience in this field. Udi’s focus will be driving innovation for the benefit of users everywhere,” he added.

Udi Manber, a veteran of Yahoo! Inc. and Inc., joined Google in 2006. [via Daily Telegraph (UK), Bloomberg and Information Week]

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