Yang Cuts Ties With Yahoo, Company He Co-Created
The embattled former CEO resigns from the board of directors and is withdrawing from the boards of Yahoo Japan Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Internet search pioneer Jerry Yang, who with Stanford University classmate David Filo co-founded Yahoo in 1995, resigned Jan. 17 from the board of directors of his own company. Yang also said he is withdrawing from the boards of Yahoo Japan Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
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.
Since 2007, the company has had four CEOs: former Warner Bros. Chairman and co-CEO Terry Semel (2004-2007), Yang (2007-2009), Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz (2009-2011), and former PayPal President Scott Thompson, hired on Jan. 4, 2012. Semel resigned in 2007, with Yang replacing him. Bartz was fired in September 2011. All four of the chief executives failed to restore Yahoo's sagging brand and business results after Google soared past the company in search and passed it for the first time in display advertising early in 2011. In a letter to Yahoo's board of directors President Roy Bostock, Yang wrote:
"My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo! As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future."eWEEK Senior Writer Clint Boulton contributed to this story.