Yahoo CEO and co-Founder Jerry Yang stepped down as top dog on November 17. The move does not come as a surpise to anyone, amid plummeting Yahoo! stock prices, a failed acquisition by Microsoft, and the demise of a possible advertising deal with Google.
A Yahoo! insider says that while they didn’t find out about Yang’s departure until about 5:00pm this afternoon, the mood around the Sunnyvale office was “pretty damn good.” He admits that “[w]e’re all pretty used to bad news by now, so we’re all just saying ‘what now?'” However, he does say that he likes the open direction that Yahoo! has been taking, arguing that because of some repeated setbacks for the company, it has been willing to try new things.
“As an employee, I feel as though this is one of the best times to be working for Yahoo! When you’re in second place, you’re more willing to try new things and experiment. It’s a great time for young people with good ideas to be recognized and excel. Yahoo! is full of opportunity and resources just waiting to be tapped.
“A little fear goes a long way,” he grins.
Yang will remaion on the Board, and will return to his old role of Chief Yahoo! Shares are expected to rally a little bit tomorrow on the news – shareholder value has dipped by almost $31 billion since the failure of a huge acquisition offer from Microsoft in the spring.
“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,” says Chairman Roy Bostock. “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.”