Who Can Replace Jerry Yang? - InformationWeek

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11/17/2008
11:07 PM
Dave Methvin
Dave Methvin
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Who Can Replace Jerry Yang?

With the ax falling on Jerry Yang, many people will be saying it was long overdue. The Yahoo press release says the board has initiated a search to replace Yang, who will stay on in his previous role of Chief Yahoo! (including the exclamation point) and remain a board member.

With the ax falling on Jerry Yang, many people will be saying it was long overdue. The Yahoo press release says the board has initiated a search to replace Yang, who will stay on in his previous role of Chief Yahoo! (including the exclamation point) and remain a board member.So now comes the hard part. Who will replace Jerry Yang? In what direction will this new leader take Yahoo? Is there any direction that Yahoo can go at this point that doesn't involve a serious dose of down? The economy isn't doing very well, and Yahoo wasn't that strong to begin with. Even if Yahoo can find a competent executive, it's unlikely that person will be able to hit the ground running. Instead, there will be several months of assessing the situation, followed by depressing layoffs and spinning-out of ventures deemed to be nonessential.

All of this brings us back to the Microsoft offer. Yang's departure will no doubt bring a few dollars of upward relief to the recent $10-a-share stock price. It's not that shareholders think that there is a better leader out there than Yang. It's because they think that Yang's over-my-dead-body attitude about the Microsoft acquisition was the reason that it died. With Yang shunted to the side, Yahoo has to be hoping it can resurrect the Microsoft deal, even if it's at a lower price than the $31-a-share bonanza it could have had earlier this year.

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