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News Link • Employee and Employer Relations

Marissa Mayer Has a Secret Weapon

•, By Steven Levy
 Yahoo’s talent pool has been reduced to puddles, as the best techies have gone elsewhere and promising newcomers have come down with colorblindness when it comes to purple. Some people wonder whether even Mayer can lure back the brains.

It turns out, though, that the new CEO has a unique advantage in fulfilling this quest. For the past decade, she has been the doyen of a collection of some of the most talented young engineers and product managers in all of technology. These are the hand-selected prime talents of an accelerated leadership program at Google called Associate Product Manager (APM).

Mayer invented this program, led it and never gave it up. It was a key part of her tenure at Google. And now she may reap some benefits.

Don’t be fooled by the modest title, prefixed by that timid word “associate.” The most coveted entry post at Google is spelled APM. This is an incubation system for tech rock stars. “The APM program is one of our core values — I’d like to think of one of them as the eventual CEO of the company,” Google’s Executive Chair Eric Schmidt once told me.

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