18    Jul 20121 comment

Marissa Mayer: From Finland to Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer, as a child

Marissa Mayer, as a child (taken from MilwaukeeMag.com)

A lot of media attention was devoted to Marissa Mayer yesterday, a former Google executive, who has just been appointed CEO of Yahoo!.

Marissa, all of 37 years old(!), was one of the first 20 employees - and the first female engineer - at Google. She has been listed by Forbes on four occasions as one of America's 50 most powerful women in business.

In addition to her professional achievements, Marissa holds two degrees from Stanford, is a keen dancer and runner and has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Her appointment came as a shock to some, as on the same day it was announced, Marissa announced that she is six months pregnant.

Marissa is clearly a remarkable woman, having achieved so much professionally while still being young and family-oriented. She married Zach Bogue in 2009 and they are expecting a baby boy in October.

An article from 2004 about Google quoting Marissa - as found on SuperSearch (click to search)

An article from 2004 about Google quoting Marissa - as found on SuperSearch (click to search)

Marissa has also been inspired by her own family. In this interview Marissa talks about family members in her life that have influenced her:

My father and I just speak the same language, both being very mathematical and scientific, and we think the same way. My mother really inspired me with her love of art and what she taught me about art.

I also had great role models in terms of teachers and grandparents. I had a grandfather who was stricken with polio at age 7, and it never slowed him down. He was mayor of his town for 32 years, grew a very successful insurance business, and he was just unstoppable.

Marissa is a descendant of Finnish immigrants to America and made a trip there last year to visit her ancestors' birth place.

Finns began arriving in the US in the late-19th century - the "Great Migration" - establishing towns such as Herman, Michigan. The new immigrants only planned on staying in the US for a few years, but less than 20% went back.

While the economic incentives of moving to the US were a major catalyst, many Finns also chose to move at that time as Russia had begun its campaign to incorporate Finland.

Other famous people of Finnish descent include Matt Damon.

Do you have accomplished women like Marissa in your family? Do you think it runs in the family? Share your views in the comments below.

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  1. Greetings from Finland! In the early 1900s, many people went to Finland, as well as my grandfather's father. We have tried to find out his fate, but the data run out of Ohio. Immigration services not found information on whether he died there or if he is returned to Finland. It is always very interesting to read and get information on the subject: the great migration.

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