Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yahoo CEO Taps Out

Yahoo Inc. lets out the news that Jerry Yang will quit as chief executive of Yahoo effective as soon as a replacement is found. With this news Yahoo’s shares shot up 4 percent in the assumption that this move would remove all obstacles hindering the Microsoft deal.

Yang will go back to being Chief Yahoo, spending his time on strategy and technology. Most criticisms against Yang rooted on his intention in carving an independent strategy for Yahoo. He was also blamed when Microsoft Corp pulled out from the negotiations of the powerhouse company acquiring Yahoo earlier this year.

Immediate rival Google Inc. dismissed a search advertising partnership on account of regulatory concerns, amplifying the bad criticism Yang has been getting when yahoo’s shares nosedived.

In an attempt to boost Yahoo’s earnings, Yang also made month-long negotiations with Time Warner Inc. about combining with its AOL unit. This also failed to close a deal.

“The company is in desperate need of change and this is clearly one way to do it,” said Ross Sandler, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, adding that Microsoft could enter the picture again. “Jerry was the roadblock for the last deal getting done.”

As a response to all of this, Yang has been very vocal about selling the company only for the right price.

The process of finding a replacement for Yang could take four to 12 weeks. Several executives are considered as prospects for the job, including former eBay Inc Chief Executive Meg Whitman, former AOL chief Jon Miller, News Corp President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, former Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig and Yahoo President Sue Decker.

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