If you had to make a list of the most public figures at Google, there's a good chance that Marissa Mayer would be at the top. Mayer joined Google in 1999 as a very early employee and has been heading its all-important search team for years as Vice President of Search Product and User Experience, where's she's played an instrumental role (she also frequently leads Google's press events). And now, Mayer's about to take on a new role: Bloomberg is reporting that Mayer is stepping down from her position on the search team to head up Google's location and local efforts.
This is a big deal, and it hopefully means that there are big changes ahead for these Google products. Google's location service Latitude is rarely even mentioned in the same conversation as Foursquare, despite the fact that Google is selling Android mobile phones like hotcakes. Likewise, Google's local results seem to have embraced the company's spartan aesthetic a bit too much.
According to the Bloomberg report, Mayer will be replaced on the search team by Udi Manber, VP of engineering for Web search. The report also says that Mayer is joining the ranks of Google's elite operating committee.
Mayer hasn't wasted any time in prepping for her new role: as you can see, she's been very active on Foursquare lately.