Rumor: Mayer Leaving Google?

    December 31, 2008
    Chris Crum

This is strictly rumor, but Valleywag is reporting the gossip that one of Google’s more "famous" employees may be on the way out. That would be Vice President of Search Products & User Experience, Marissa Mayer. Owen Thomas at VW writes:

Top Googlers, overheard at a holiday party, chattered about Mayer’s departure as a matter of if, not when. And in some ways, it’s surprising she’s stayed as long as she has.

Marissa MayerFirst of all, she’s wealthy. That "19th employee" bit is code, within Silicon Valley, for "rich"; the earlier an employee joins a startup which succeeds, the more money they make. With Google, which is still worth $96 billion after its stock tumble, that translates into hundreds of millions of dollars for Mayer, who owns a penthouse apartment in San Francisco’s Four Seasons, another home in outrageously pricey Palo Alto, and a large (if questionably tasteful) art collection, including original glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly. A couture hound, she once paid $60,000 for a lunch with Oscar de la Renta, and she owns part of I Dream of Cake, a "cake gallery" in North Beach, as a way of indulging her pastry fetish…So she’s already made her money.

Frank Watson at notes that the idea of her leaving seems contradictory to her words in an interview with TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington, discussing the future of search.

Mayer also discussed the future of search on an Official Google Blog post a few months back, and as we head into the New Year, it seems like a good time to revisit that anyway.

So whether the rumor is true or not, thanks Valleywag for reminding us of Mayer’s talk of the future. It makes for a good year-end piece.

UPDATE: Tech Radar reports: Mayer is nearing her own 10th anniversary at Google but for the time being has no intention of leaving. "I’m a geek and Google is a great place for geeks," she says. "I really love my job because I get to work on new problems and have new challenges each day. I’m currently working on our Geo products, Google Book Search and Google Health. They’re all things I’m excited to be part of."