Google VP Marissa Mayer: I Once “Broke The Internet”
3:39 pm, July 18th | by Hillary Reinsberg
Google VP Marissa Mayer often acts as a public face for the company. But once, while working on the back-end side, the Goog’s lady in shining armor “broke the Internet,” she told Newsweek. Mayer admits she and her team once accidentally added one extra slash (as in, a “/”) to the thousands and thousands of lines of code that handle Google search, resulting in “every page on the Internet popping up with a big red warning: THIS SITE MAY HARM YOUR COMPUTER. You couldn’t access anything on Google. It was as if the Internet was broken.”
As VP of Search at the time, Mayer recalls things going absolutely haywire on a Saturday morning in 2009 upon realizing the fiasco while in a Minneapolis hotel room. Tens of millions of users couldn’t access Google for some time, leading them to temporarily use…gasp…Yahoo! Mayer got stuff under control though – she was in communication with co-workers via cell phone, the hotel landline, video chat, and through 8 instant messenger windows. They recognized the problem within 10 minutes, and fixed the whole thing in an hour. And that is how you become a top executive at Google.
Though she frequents as an articulate public figure for Google, at heart, Mayer’s an ace coder and developer who was largely responsible for the success of Google Search and GMail. Now, she oversees Location and Local Services, which, as you’ll recall, are a absolute top priorities for CEO Larry Page at the moment, with the launch of Google Offers.
Though “breaking the Internet” for a few hours is pretty bad, being behind Google search and GMail kind of make that okay.