Yang departs as Yahoo CEO


Just 18 months after Jerry Yang replaced Terry Semel as CEO of Yahoo, the pioneering Internet search and portal company is looking for a new chief executive.

Yahoo said Monday that Yang, who co-founded the company 14 years ago with David Filo, will step down when a successor is found, at which time he'll resume his former role as Chief Yahoo. He'll remain a board member.

Yang became CEO in June 2007 after Semel was forced from the job because he was blamed for allowing Google to surpass Yahoo and become the planet's dominant Internet company.

But at least Semel could boast that Yahoo's stock rose 148% under his six-year reign. Under Yang's 18-month stint, the stock has plunged 62%, and Yang didn't curry much shareholder favor when he dismissed a bid from Microsoft to buy the company for $33 a share. The stock closed Monday at $10.63.

Carl Icahn, a Yahoo board member, is said to favor re-opening negotiations with Microsoft for a buyout, though there are no indications Microsoft remains interested in paying anything near the $47.5 billion it had offered for the company. Yahoo's market cap was only $14.7 billion on Monday.

Yahoo will search for a new CEO within the company and externally and has hired executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to evaluate candidates. Yang will continue as CEO during the search. (partialdiff)