Yahoo searches for new CEO as Yang steps down

Yahoo has begun a search for a new CEO, the company announced Monday.

Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang

Yahoo is on the search for a new CEO after the company announced today Jerry Yang is stepping down as head of the company.

Yang, who co-founded Yahoo, will return to his former role as ‘Chief Yahoo’ once a successor is found, said the company in a statement.

Yang, 40, took on the CEO role in June 2007.

The company says the search will encompass both internal and external candidates.

He has been under intense pressure from shareholders in recent weeks for a string of perceived missteps that began in February with Microsoft's US$45 billion offer to buy Yahoo. Microsoft was offering US$33 per share for its Internet rival but Yang rejected that price as too low.

Eventually Microsoft withdrew its offer and Yang went on to talk with News Corp. about a venture with MySpace and with TimeWarner about a merger with AOL but they came to nothing. In June he struck an advertising deal with Google but that too fell apart in the face of opposition from the U.S. Department of Justice.

With Yahoo shares currently trading at less than $11 the Microsoft offer, with the benefit of hindsight, looks like a very attractive one thus the discontent from some shareholders.

Yang appears to recognize this and at an Internet conference in San Francisco two weeks ago made a thinly veiled initiation to Microsoft to come back to the negotiating table.

"To this day I would say that the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo," he said. And when quizzed on if he would stick to a higher price that he demanded back in May added, "Oh no. At the right price, whatever the price is."

But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer didn't bite and said a couple of days later, "We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition. I don't know why they would be either, frankly. They turned us down at $33 a share."

The move to appoint a new CEO is not surprising, said Greg Sterling, an analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence. “There had been public speculation about this for several months and as they went through several quarterly earnings calls and the condition of the company wasn’t improving, I think there was some sense that you needed new leadership,” he said.

While Sterling credits Yang with some good ideas for turning around the company, “there’s a way in which maybe his personality isn’t well suited for what the company needs, which is maybe a more forceful leader who can restore confidence,” he said.

While the drawn-out attempt by Microsoft to buy Yahoo probably in part led to the announcement about Yang stepping aside, other subsequent factors also likely played a role. “I think it’s not so much a Microsoft thing as it is the demise of the Google deal and a failure to find another alterative to the merger,” Sterling said.

It’s hard to say if a new leader at Yahoo will reignite a deal with Microsoft. The cynics view is that installing a new leader “saves face for everyone” and let’s someone new come in to make a deal with Microsoft, Sterling said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?