Analysis: Key executive is the latest to exit in a protracted shake-up at the beleaguered Web search and services company as it regroups to regain investor confidence.
When former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang left the company he co-founded on Jan. 17
industry folks in the know realized it was only a matter of time until
board chairman Roy Bostock followed him out the door. That day has come.
After Bostock and three other board members resigned Feb. 8, the company
said it appointed former IBM executive and Rovi Corp CEO Alfred Amoroso
and former eBay COO Maynard Webb as independent directors. A new board
chairman is expected to be announced within the next few weeks.
Bostock and his colleagues became the latest long-time members of the
leadership team to leave the company in a protracted shake-up at the
venerable but beleaguered Web search and services company as it regroups to
regain investor confidence.
And confidence is a major ingredient lacking in the company makeup at this time.
For about seven years, Yahoo ranked as the world's No. 1 Internet search
engine. However, Google bypassed it in general usage in about 2002.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media services also have taken page
views from Yahoo, which is still the No. 2 search provider and whose
Yahoo Mail is the world's leading Webmail application.
Yahoo's search engine never has been able to work as quickly or as
efficiently as Google's, and it has paid a steep price for being
surpassed. It also has not been able to get as much traction as Google and other Web service providers on features such as Web documents, collaboration tools, calendaring, texting and others.
Four CEOs Since 2007
Bostock's departure comes a month after former Paypal head Scott Thompson was named CEO on Jan. 4
. Thompson replaced deposed former Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz, whom Bostock fired in a phone conversation
in September 2011 after two years on the job as chief executive officer.
Since 2007, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has had four CEOs: former Warner Bros. Chairman
and co-CEO Terry Semel (2004-2007), Yang (2007-2009),
Bartz (2009-2011) and now Thompson. Semel
resigned in 2007, with Yang replacing him.
Bostock and Yang were vilified by a number of vocal shareholders, led by maverick investor Carl Icahn, in
August 2008. This happened at the company's annual meeting in San Jose
turned down a $47 billion Microsoft acquisition bid that had been
tendered five months earlier. But Yang, Bostock and a majority of the
board members were against it, and they convinced a majority of shareholders to vote it down.
Microsoft later returned with a smaller offer to buy Yahoo's crown
jewelits Internet search business, second in size, scope and income
only to Google. But Yahoo, again led by Yang and Bostock, also turned
that offer down.
Yahoo's common stock in July 2008 was selling for about $23 per share
and had been as high as $33.63 in October 2007. The stock closed at $16
on Feb. 9.
Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK's Editor in Chief of Features and Analysis. Twitter: editingwhiz