An exhaustive, 22,000-word account of Marissa Mayer’s rise from a focused student in Wausau, Wis. to Yahoo! CEO. Carlson goes back to her childhood to explore the traits that made her so successful at Stanford and Google, and he goes behind the scenes on the Yahoo! board’s decision to choose her over interim CEO Ross Levinsohn:

“Over the weekend, Levinsohn played a guessing game with venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, Square CEO Jack Dorsey, and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. With each of them, Levinsohn and the other Silicon Valley bigwigs ran through a long list of names, trying to figure out who might be getting the job Levinsohn had so hoped for. For each name they came up with, they came up with a persuasive reason why that person could not be it.

“Whom had Wolf and Loeb so clearly already decided on?

“Finally, late Sunday night, Levinsohn got a call from a friend of his at Google.

“This person asked: Had Levinsohn heard that Marissa Mayer had interviewed for the Yahoo job the Wednesday prior?

“Levinsohn realized everything all at once.

“Levinsohn now knew who Yahoo’s next CEO would be.

“Soon, so would everyone else.”