Clearly, Citrin and Spencer Stuart -- influenced heavily by YHOO shareholder Daniel Loeb -- decided that it made sense to go the young route. They also hired a person who has never been a CEO. That said, she spent 13 years playing an instrumental role in Google's enormous success.
She's well known for making Google's properties and products easy to navigate. Almost minimalist. If Yahoo! needs anything right now, it's a person with vision to come in and clean things up. Yahoo! has excellent content, a terrific brand and plenty of media talent; it just needs to slim the operation down and focus on its strengths.
Mayer is at home in Silicon Valley; therefore it only made sense to move her down the road from one tech giant to another giant that hasn't been sure what it is for years.
Mayer and Gillett have a bit in common. Mayer is 37. Gillett is 36 (maybe 37). He actually worked at Yahoo! early in his career, led massive and wildly successful mobile and technology efforts at Starbucks and sits on the board at Symantec (SYMC).Simply put, Gillett is a Silicon Valley guy just as Mayer -- no disrespect intended -- is a Silicon Valley Girl. And Gillett has something going for him: At least the chauvinist pigs of Wall Street and the media cannot pounce on his appointment because he is with child. (He does have several children, though. He might need to consider disowning them just to show investors that there will be no distractions for this first-time CEO.) But I digress, just as sarcastically as I regressed. Long ago, we entered a new era in business, particularly in the media, technology and retail spaces. Amazon and Apple (AAPL) single-handedly forced the transformation. We live in a time where you don't automatically run to an MBA to run the show. Sure, Gillett has an MBA. That's not a sin. It would only be a sin if he thought like an MBA. Getting the degree serves professional and practical purposes. No doubt about it. But, the great leaders and visionaries of our time do not think like MBAs.