So much for all the talk last week about interim CEO Ross Levinsohn landing the top job on a more secure basis. Mayer, 37, was the 20th employee at Google — and emerged as one of the company’s most prominent representatives. An engineer, she was credited with developing the look and feel of its most popular products including Google Maps. But her path to the top seemed blocked by the presence of Google’s co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. The news of her appointment sent Yahoo shares up about 2% in after-market trading. Investors shouldn’t expect miracles: Yahoo has been struggling to find its place in the Internet advertising universe against Google and Facebook and other content providers. The company has been seen as a jack of all trades, with several compelling services — but no clear mission. The company’s stock has lost about 41% of its value over the last five years and has been stagnant lately. Last year the company ousted Carol Bartz from the top job. Her successor, Scott Thompson, was forced out in May after a dissident shareholder disclosed that he had exaggerated his college credentials. Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb, who led the attacks on Yahoo’s management, was added to the board along with two colleagues after he threatened to wage a proxy fight. Here’s today’s release:

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