Yang hasn't been in his role as CEO for very long. In June 2007 he replaced Terry Semel as CEO when he left the company. He has not been very fortunate in his 1,5 year reign at Yahoo. Off course there was the failed take over by Microsoft and recently the almost done deal with Google failed. Next to that a lot of people left Yahoo, wether it being voluntary or because they were fired. Finally the Yahoo stocks dropped like a bomb.
Yahoo will now start searching for a successor. Yang will be part of the commision looking for the new CEO. He will be joined by Chairman Roy Bostock. Yahoo also hired executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help with the search for a new CEO.
Presumably the new CEO will have to have negotiation capabilities since the rumors that Microsoft will try a take over again are still buzzing around.
Yahoo announced the stepping down of its CEO to the press with a press release (see below). Before that was sent though Yang sent an e-mail to the Yahoo-employees explaining his move. AllThingsDigital got a hold of the e-mail which is also posted below.
In the press release there is one sentence which can be read in a way that it may seem as if the board has asked Yang to step down: "Jerry and the Board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession
timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the
transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level." In cases like this it means that there has been a lot of discussion between the Board and the CEO about the steps taken. But off course, that is not confirmed.
The e-mail Yang sent:
To: all yahoos
i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!. roy bostock, our chairman of the board, is leading the effort to identify and assess potential candidates for consideration by the full board. the board will be evaluating and considering both internal and external candidates and has retained heidrick and struggles to help in this effort.
i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board.
last june, i accepted the board’s request that i assume the ceo role to restructure and reposition the company as a whole in order to more effectively meet the fast-changing needs of both users and partners. since taking on the ceo role, i have had an ongoing dialogue with the board about succession timing. thanks in large measure to your tireless efforts, we have created a more open, competitive yahoo! and we believe the time is now right to transition to a new ceo who can take the company to the next level.
despite the external environment we face, the fact remains that yahoo! is now a significantly different company that is stronger in many ways than it was just 18 months ago. this only makes it all the more essential that we manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point as effectively as possible. i strongly believe that having transformed our platform and better aligned costs and revenues, we have a unique window for the right ceo to take ownership over the next wave of mission-critical decisions facing the company.
all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential.
The official Yahoo press release:
Yahoo! Conducting Search for New CEO
Co-Founder Jerry Yang to Step Down Following Appointment of New CEO and Return to Former Role as Chief Yahoo! and Board Member
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) –
Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) today announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a search for a new Chief Executive Officer. Jerry Yang, co-Founder of Yahoo!, has decided to return to his former role as Chief Yahoo! upon the appointment of his successor as CEO, and he will also continue to serve on the Board. Yang, 40, assumed the CEO role at the Board’s request in June 2007, and he has led Yahoo! through a strategic repositioning and transformation of its platform.
Chairman Roy Bostock, working with the independent directors and in consultation with Jerry Yang, is leading the process of assessing potential candidates and determining finalists for consideration. The search will encompass both internal and external candidates, and the Board has retained Heidrick & Struggles, a leading international executive search firm, to assist in the process.
“Over the past year and a half, despite extraordinary challenges and distractions, Jerry Yang has led the repositioning of Yahoo! on an open platform model as well as the improved alignment of costs and revenues,” said Roy Bostock. “Jerry and the Board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level. We are deeply grateful to Jerry for his many contributions as CEO over the past 18 months, and we are pleased that he plans to stay actively involved at Yahoo! as a key executive and member of the Board.”
“From founding this company to guiding its growth into a trusted global brand that is indispensible to millions of people, I have always sought to do what is best for our franchise,” said Jerry Yang. “When the Board asked me to become CEO and lead the transformation of the Company, I did so because it was important to re-envision the business for a different era to drive more effective growth. Having set Yahoo! on a new, more open path, the time is right for me to transition the CEO role and our global talent to a new leader. I will continue to focus on global strategy and to do everything I can to help Yahoo! realize its full potential and enhance its leading culture of technology and product excellence and innovation.”