Yahoo Picks Autodesk's Carol Bartz as New CEO

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-01-13 Print this article Print

New Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz replaces company co-founder Jerry Yang, who resigned Nov. 17 as Yahoo's CEO but remains chairman of the board. Bartz was CEO of Autodesk from 1992 to 2006 and led the company to big-time status and profits.

Yahoo, hampered by takeover attempts and struggling with diminishing returns for the last three years, decided on its new leadership direction Jan. 13 when it introduced the former CEO and current executive chairman of Autodesk, Carol Bartz, as its new CEO.

Bartz, 60, replaces Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, who resigned Nov. 17 as CEO but remains chairman of the board. Bartz will also become a board member at Yahoo.

Carol BartzBefore becoming Autodesk's executive chairman three years ago, Bartz transformed the company into a leader in CAD software. During her tenure as CEO from 1992 to 2006, Autodesk revenues increased from about $300 million to more than $1.5 billion, and the company's share price increased nearly tenfold.

Yahoo President Sue Decker announced that she will also resign, following an "unspecified transitional period," the company said.

"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," Bartz said during a conference call with analysts and media representatives. "We will seize that opportunity."

Yahoo is a "powerful global brand with a great collection of assets, strong technology and enormously talented employees," Bartz said. "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."

Only person offered the job

Yahoo Board Chairman Roy Bostock, Yang's most powerful board supporter and the man who lobbied hardest for him to return as CEO 18 months ago following the departure of former CEO Terry Semel, said Bartz was the only person offered the job.

"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," Bostock said. "She is admired in the Valley as well as on Wall Street for her deep management expertise, strong customer orientation, excellent people skills and firm understanding of the challenges facing our industry."

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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