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Marissa Mayer Is Yahoo's New CEO

The longtime Googler jumps ship to a once-feared rival

Call it the Silicon Valley Surprise.

Yahoo! shocked its observers and Wall Street today by naming Marissa Mayer, longtime Google executive, as chief executive of the teetering Silicon Valley Web portal. The beleaguered company has had four official CEOs over the past five years, and their names—Terry Semel, Jerry Yang, Carol Bartz, and Scott Thompson—have come to define hapless management. Thompson, the most recent chief exec, left the company in May after activist shareholders revealed that he had exaggerated his academic credentials.