Yahoo's Yang to step down as CEO
Co-founder giving up top spot following failed talks with Microsoft, collapse of Google deal
IDG News Service - After failed buyout talks with Microsoft Corp., an online advertising deal with Google Inc. that fell apart and two rounds of layoffs, Jerry Yang is stepping down as CEO of Yahoo Inc., the company said late Monday.
Yahoo announced that it has begun searching for a new leader. Yang, a Yahoo co-founder who became CEO in June 2007, will reassume his former title of "Chief Yahoo" once a successor is found and will also remain on the company's board.
The 40-year-old Yang has been under intense pressure from shareholders in recent weeks for a string of perceived missteps that began in February with Microsoft's $45 billion offer to buy Yahoo. Microsoft was offering $33 per share for the Internet company, but Yang rejected that price as too low.
Eventually, Microsoft withdrew its offer. Yang went on to hold talks with News Corp. about a venture with that company's MySpace unit and with Time Warner Inc. about a merger with its AOL subsidiary, but those discussions also came to nothing. In June, he struck the ad deal with Google, but that fell apart in the face of opposition from the U.S. Department of Justice.
With Yahoo shares currently trading at less than $11 per share, the Microsoft offer looks like a very attractive one with the benefit of hindsight — thus the discontent from some shareholders.
Yang appeared to recognize this: During a keynote session at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco two weeks ago, he made a thinly veiled invitation 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," Yang said. And when quizzed on whether he would stick to the higher price that he demanded back in May, he added, "Oh no. At the right price, whatever the price is."
But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer didn't bite. "We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition," Ballmer said a couple of days later. "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 isn't surprising, said Greg Sterling, an analyst at 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.
Sterling credits Yang with some good ideas for turning around Yahoo, such as the company's Open Strategy plan to open up its Web sites and online services to outside developers. But, Sterling said, "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."
Yang steps down
- Ballmer: Yahoo acquisition won't happen, despite Yang's departure
- Next Yahoo CEO must shed assets to better focus company, analysts say
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: With Yang out, is Microsoft in at Yahoo?
- Yahoo's Yang to step down as CEO
- Yahoo CEO Yang reaches out to Microsoft's Ballmer
- Preston Gralla: Yahoo investors should call for Yang's head
- Icahn, Yang make nice, but who wins?
- Printer Installer: Eliminating Print Servers Printer Installer is an on-premise web application that enables you to centrally manage and deploy Windows shared or direct iP printers.
- How Network Connections Drive Web Application Performance Users around the globe, on all sorts of devices, expect Web applications to function as seamlessly as desktop applications. This paper discusses the...
- SIP Migration: Addressing CIOs' Concerns Recent data from IDG Research shows that many IT executives are counting on SIP to help them meet employee efficiency and customer experience...
- SBIC: Transforming Information Security This report combines perspectives on technologies with experience in strategy to help security teams navigate complex decisions regarding technology deployments while maximizing investments.
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed in recent years, and it continues to escalate. All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!