Bartz pick ends Yahoo guessing game


Yahoo has named a new CEO, tapping Carol Bartz, a former chief executive at Autodesk, a software company known in Hollywood for its digital media products.

Yahoo confirmed Tuesday that, effective immediately, Bartz has replaced co-founder Jerry Yang just 18 months after Yang replaced Terry Semel in the post. Yang will go back to his old job of "chief Yahoo."

In tapping Bartz, Yahoo squelches speculation that it would woo a Hollywood executive like News Corp. COO Peter Chernin to the job or promote Yahoo president Susan Decker.

Decker, in fact, said she'll stay with Yahoo for a transitional period, then resign.

Yahoo has been struggling since Semel was forced out under criticism that he allowed Google to surpass the once-dominant Internet search titan and that Yahoo stock had stagnated.

Yang, though, has fared even worse, judging from Yahoo's stock price, with his tenure being marked most prominently by his rejection of a $33-a-share takeover bid from Microsoft. Yahoo shares closed Tuesday at $12.10.

Bartz stepped down as CEO of Autodesk after 14 years in April 2006. During that time, revenue at the company increased from $300 million to $1.5 billion, and the stock price rose nearly tenfold.

Before that, she was an executive at a host of technology firms including Sun Microsystems and remains a director on the boards of Cisco and Intel. (partialdiff)