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.
Before 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."