I have to admit that I wasn’t too surprised when I learned yesterday that Yahoo Founder and CEO Jerry Yang was going to be stepping down as the CEO of Yahoo.
This comes on the heels of a wicked 12 months for Yahoo where they have seen their market share decrease sharply as well as a potential Microsoft merger fall through the cracks. All along I have felt that Yang was the sole reason that the Yahoo / Microsoft thing never happened and that’s an opinion I think I share w/ a lot of other Yahoo shareholders and employees. Employees make up a large part of Yahoo’s shareholders too so I bet that company morale this morning is at a 12 month high! This morning at the open, Yahoo shares were up! Someone tell Mark Cuban, he loves to bank on these search engines! (sorry couldn’t resist)
November 18, 2008 — (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) — Yahoo (www.yahoo.com) co-Founder Jerry Yang has stepped down as the company’s chief executive officer, ending a tumultuous almost year-and-a-half long post as the head of the second-largest US Internet-search engine company.
After being named CEO in June 2007, the Yahoo board of directors announced Monday that 40-year-old Yang will be replaced and will continue his former role of “Chief Yahoo!” and continue to serve on the board once his successor is found.
Yang has led Yahoo! through a strategic repositioning and transformation of its platform, marred by failed mergers and partnerships, and dropping stock prices.
Six months ago, Yahoo failed to negotiate a Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) merger, causing Yahoo’s market value to fall by more than $20 billion. Added to the company’s troubles has been its failed partnership with AOL (www.aol.com) and only two weeks ago, Google (www.google.com) walked away from an advertising revenue-sharing deal.
However, its value rose as much as 13 percent in Nasdaq trading following Yang’s resignation. Just half-an-hour after markets opened, Yahoo’s stock climbed $1.38 to $12.01, the largest gain in a month. Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs Group suspects Yang’s resignation may renew talks with Microsoft and other suitors.
“Over the past year and a half, despite extraordinary challenges and distractions, Jerry Yang has led the repositioning of Yahoo! on an open platform model as well as the improved alignment of costs and revenues,” Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock said in a statement. “Jerry and the Board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level. We are deeply grateful to Jerry for his many contributions as CEO over the past 18 months, and we are pleased that he plans to stay actively involved at Yahoo! as a key executive and member of the Board.”
Yang said that he also felt it was time for the company to transition to a new leader.
“From founding this company to guiding its growth into a trusted global brand that is indispensable to millions of people, I have always sought to do what is best for our franchise,” Yang said in a statement. “When the Board asked me to become CEO and lead the transformation of the Company, I did so because it was important to re-envision the business for a different era to drive more effective growth. ”
The CEO position could possibly be handed to current Yahoo president Sue Decker, however, Sanford Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay told Market Watch that former Time Warner executive Jon Miller will be a more likely choice.
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