The company also said Tuesday that president Sue Decker announced plans to resign after an undefined transition period. Yahoo said its board was united in the decision to select Bartz.
Bartz, 60, served as executive chairperson of Autodesk after 14 years as the company's CEO. During that time, she increased the company's share price almost tenfold. She also led operations, engineering, sales, and marketing for several companies, including Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment Corp., and 3M.
"Yahoo is a powerful global brand with a great collection of assets, strong technology, and enormously talented employees," Bartz said in a statement. "The company has accomplished a great deal in its relatively short history, and I look forward to working together to take it to the next level. There is no denying that Yahoo has faced enormous challenges over the last year, but I believe there is now an extraordinary opportunity to create value for our shareholders and new possibilities for our customers, partners and employees. We will seize that opportunity."
Yahoo chairman of the board Roy Bostock touted Bartz's reputation for "deep management expertise, strong customer orientation, excellent people skills, and firm understanding of the challenges facing our industry." He said she met all the criteria Yahoo set, and she's the only person who was offered the job.
"We are very excited to have Carol Bartz leading Yahoo into its next era of growth," he said in a statement. "She is the exact combination of seasoned technology executive and savvy leader that the board was looking for, and we are thrilled to have attracted such a world-class talent to Yahoo."
Outgoing CEO Jerry Yang called Bartz "the ideal person to take Yahoo forward."
"I will be honored to be a resource to assist her in any way she finds helpful," he said in a statement. "I believe Yahoo's best years are still ahead of it. For the past 14 years, I have poured all of my energies into this great company -- and I hope to keep contributing to its success for many years to come."
Bostock praised Yang for his unwavering enthusiasm, unique perspective, and iconic stature and said that the board is glad Yang plans to stay involved.
Decker was reportedly among insiders who were considered for the job. Yahoo said Tuesday that Decker informed the board of plans to resign. Yahoo praised Decker's contributions and expressed gratitude that she is willing to work with Bartz through a transition.
Bartz has been lead independent director of Cisco Systems since 2005 and a director since 1996. She also serves on the boards of directors of Intel and NetApp. She holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin.