Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang to Resign as Yahoo CEO but Remain on Yahoo Board

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-11-17 Print this article Print

Yahoo CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang has been under increasing pressure for the last year in the wake of a botched merger with Microsoft. Jerry Yang will remain at the company as so-called "Chief Yahoo" and retain his seat on Yahoo's board of directors.

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang's tenure as CEO of the troubled Internet giant took a key turn Nov. 17 when he announced his resignation under apparent pressure from the company's board of directors.

But Yang won't be leaving anytime soon. The company announced in a press release late in the day that Yang would remain in the CEO position until his successor is appointed and that he would stay on as a member of the board.

In an e-mail to all Yahoo employees, Yang, who had been under a great deal of criticism in the wake of a botched merger with Microsoft, said he will return to his former role as so-called Chief Yahoo when a new CEO is named.

Read Yang's e-mail to Yahoo employees here.

A substantial number of Yahoo shareholders were in favor of accepting a $47 billion bid to sell the company to Microsoft in February 2008. But Yang and a majority of the board members were against it, and they prevailed.
Microsoft then returned with a smaller offer to buy Yahoo's crown jewel-its Internet search business, second in size, scope and income only to Google. But Yahoo also turned that offer down.

Yang and the board faced a number of unhappy shareholders at the company's annual meeting in San Jose Aug. 1, but they were steadfast in their desire to remain independent from the world's largest software company.

If Yahoo had been stronger financially in the last two years, it's possible Yang could have won out and remained as CEO. But the company stock value has dropped from a recent high of $33.63 in October 2007 to $19.80 on Aug. 1. The stock continues to slip; it closed at $10.63 on Nov. 17.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has since said although there still might be a chance for a deal, he doesn't believe it will ever happen.

Entrepreneur Carl Icahn, who owns about $1 billion worth of Yahoo stock-almost 5 percent of the company-tried to facilitate the Microsoft takeover over a six-month period. As part of a deal to placate him, the Yahoo board offered Icahn and two people of his choice seats on the board.

Icahn is expected to join the board in January 2009.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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