Yahoo looks to Google's Marissa Mayer to be its new saviour

Marissa Mayer, the former Google exec apparently pushed aside when Larry Page became CEO of the search engine last year, has become Yahoo's new boss in a move that has surprised Silicon Valley.

"Yahoo! today announced that it has appointed Marissa Mayer as President and Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors effective July 17, 2012," the company confirmed in a rather dry statement.

It added: "The appointment of Ms Mayer, a leading consumer internet executive, signals a renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue for one of the world's largest consumer internet brands, whose leading properties include Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Mobile, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Search."

Could the new Yahoo homepage look like this shortly?

Until recently Mayer was responsible for Local, Maps, and Location Services for Google, however the 37-year-old's credentials are much better than that, having been Google's 20th employee and largely responsible for the development of its flagship search product and iconic homepage for more than 10 years after joining Google in 1999. 

If that wasn't enough, Mayer managed some of Google's most successful products, launching more than 100 features and products including image, book and product search, toolbar, iGoogle, Google News, and Gmail - creating much of the "look and feel" of the Google user experience in her time at the company. 

What's that likely to mean? Expect Yahoo to start acting a lot more like Google in the future, focusing on technological innovation rather than content. However whether Mayer has the ability to lift the ailing media company from the steady decline it has been experiencing for some time is yet to be seen. 

The current interim CEO Ross Levinsohn was the favourite for the role. 

Mayer starts work on Tuesday.