Charlie Rose interviewed Marissa Mayor in March 2009 about her and her role at Google. Marissa Mayor had been with Google for about 10 years at the time of the interview when she was currently Vice President of Search Product and User Experience. New product ideas goes through her before it gets presented to Google’s founders Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page.
In July 2012, Mayer was appointed CEO of Yahoo. And is expecting a son in 2012 with husband Zachary Bogue.
Marissa joined Google in 1999 as their first female engineer and was the first 20 employees. Like Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Marissa also went to Stanford University. She graduated with honors and received her bachelor’s degree in symbolic systems and received her master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University.
The full video and transcript of the interview can be found on CharlieRose.com.
She initially wanted to become a doctor, but found it to contain too much memorization and then went into computer science where it developed her critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
She says that she has one of the best jobs in the world because she works with great people and on products that touches many people’s lives. She feels that people is an important asset of a technology company. The two characteristics that Google looks for is one who is “smart” and “gets things done”. If you have one without the other, then it wouldn’t work either. They determine whether a candidate has those two characteristics primarily through the interview and references. They found that a candidate’s background and references was one of the best predictor of success.
She says her day starts at 9 and is usually in meetings till 7. Then she does email at night.
She usually don’t read fiction, but reads magazines like “The Economist” and “Newsweek” plus fashion magazines as well. She does a lot of reading through Google News — which she believe make people read more news and be aware for new news sources.
Google also embrace the concept of “dog-fooding” (a concept started by Microsoft) whereby the employees of a company uses (and therefore tests) the products that the company produces.
Marissa, in her own words, is a “search addict”. Of all the questions that pops in the head everyday, she searches for answers for about 20% of those. The rests either they were not important enough to search on or she was on the road can not perform the search. That is why mobile searching is important. But there are challenges due to the smaller screen.
She thinks the next big thing would be applications that involved GPS-enabled cell phones so you can know where your friends are, etc.
She mentions that “advertising-subsidized search” is Google’s business model.
The interview also touched on topics such as Google’s social network Orkut (which is not big in the United States, but big in Brazil and India), Google’s cell phone Android, and Google’s browser Chrome.