Google's 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.
Mayer, who joined Google in 1999, as the company’s 20th employee and its first female engineer, is also joining the search giant’s operating committee – which is the most senior management group.
Google was unavailable to expand on what Mayer’s shift in focus will mean.
A spokesman said: "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."
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 (#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.
In an interview last year, Mayer said 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 also said that “intuitive search” would be her ultimate goal to achieve for Google. Mayer wanted Google to be capable of presenting information to users before they even know what they're looking for. Google has moved closer to this with improvements like ‘Google Instant’, released last month.
When asked what this next iteration of an intelligent Google will look like, Mayer explained: “You could have some information waiting for you when you turn on your computer or some relevant URLs forming part of your browser background (presumably if you use Chrome – Google’s browser) or on your side wiki”.
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."