Yahoo co-founder resigns

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned his board seat and "all other positions" with the beleaguered web giant, the company announced this afternoon.

Jerry Yang
(Credit: Yahoo)

Two weeks ago, the company announced a new chief executive, Scott Thompson, though it's unclear whether Yang's departure is related to that hire.

In a press release, Yang praised Thompson, and said only that it is time for him to move on.

"The time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo," Yang said in a statement. "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."

Yang co-founded Yahoo in 1995 with David Filo, and served as chief executive from June 2007 to January 2009. Filo remains at the company. Yang's tenure as chief executive was tumultuous, with the company reporting a 64 per cent drop in net income at a time when the online advertising market was softening. That led to lay-offs, including one that cut 1000 jobs in February 2008, and another that carved away 1430 jobs later that same year.

He relinquished his post to Carol Bartz, who was fired last September as Yahoo continued to sputter financially.

Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock offered nothing but praise for Yang in the company press release.

"While I and the entire board respect his decision, we will miss his remarkable perspective, vision and wise counsel," Bostock said in the statement.

Yang has been something of a lightning rod, a target for investors who want change at the struggling company. Daniel Loeb, manager of hedge fund Third Point, which owns Yahoo shares, called on Yang to resign last November. Loeb cited, among other shortcomings, Yang's "ineptitude in dealing with the Microsoft negotiations to purchase the company in 2008".

The board itself has received much criticism. Earlier this month, the company also reportedly hired an executive search firm to find possible replacements for some board members.


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