When Mayer took the helm at Yahoo! last year, she made headlines. Not only was a 37-year old woman taking charge of a Fortune 500 company, she was also pregnant. Putting the "women can have it all" theory to the test, Mayer took only two weeks of maternity leave and worked through it. She recently extended Yahoo!'s maternity and paternity leave, however.
The new parent, who has a nursery at her office, faced criticism when banishing Yahoo!'s work-from-home policy. But Mayer was tasked with rebuilding Yahoo!'s brand. She was trying to send a message to employees and investors that she means business. The message seems to be working, as investors and employees alike have responded positively towards her, with morale higher than under predecessor Scott Thompson, and shares up sharply since she took over.
Prior to coming to Yahoo!, Mayer made a name for herself as one of Google's (GOOG) earliest employees. The company's first female engineer, she worked her way up and eventually served as Vice President of Location & Local Services at Google. The Wisconsin native graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in symbolic systems and a M.S. in computer science.