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11/17/2008
08:32 PM
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Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang To Step Down, Resumes Role As 'Chief Yahoo'

Questions of his departure arose after Yahoo's inability to reach an acquisition deal with Microsoft and the collapse of its advertising partnership with Google.

Yahoo is looking for a new CEO.

In a statement released to the press late Monday, Yahoo said that its board of directors had begun looking for someone to replace CEO Jerry Yang.

Yang will remain in his postion until a replacement has been found.

"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," 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."

Yahoo's Board said it has hired Heidrick & Struggles, an international executive search firm, to assist inside and outside the company in finding Yang's replacement.

Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, intends to return to his role as Chief Yahoo, a title that critics believe he had already earned in the pejorative sense of the word "yahoo." Following his lackluster on-stage interview at the Web 2.0 Summit earlier this month, several tech journalists called for him to step down.

"The forces against Jerry Yang are simply too great right now and his radio silence today tells you everything you need to know: he's at wit's end," said technology columnist Don Reisinger in a blog post. "And when your own CEO can't muster a response that puts people back in his corner, there's really only one solution: get rid of him."

"Yang must go," said TechCrunch's Michael Arrington.

Yahoo's inability earlier this year to reach a deal with Microsoft to be acquired and the collapse of its advertising partnership with Google have left industry observers wondering whether the company can regain its footing and compete against Google and Microsoft.

Before Yang appeared for an on-stage interview at the Web 2.0 Summit earlier this month, rumors were swirling that he had stepped down. The rumors proved wrong, but not by much.

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