Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned from the board of directors and all other positions within the company, as it attempts to revive its revenue growth under the control of a new CEO.
Yang, who co-founded Yahoo in 1995, was recently criticised by shareholders who claimed he was impeding efforts to revive the firm, which has struggled in the wake of the financial crisis.
Yang served as a member of the board of directors since March 1995, and as chief executive from June 2007 to January 2009. The company went public in 1996.
Although a popular figure among Yahoo employees, reports claim Yang alienated the company’s shareholders by turning down a chance to sell Yahoo to Microsoft for $47.5 billion in 2008.
Yahoo shares haven’t topped $20 for more than three years. On the news of Yang’s resignation, the stock gained 44 cents to $15.87 in extended trading.
In a letter to Yahoo board chairman Roy Bostock, Yang said his time at the company “has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life”.
“However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo,” he said.
“I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as chief executive officer and his ability… to guide Yahoo into an exciting and successful future.”
While it’s unknown what Yang plans to do next, his personal wealth has swelled since he began working on Yahoo in a trailer at Stanford University with fellow graduate David Filo.
According to Forbes’ latest estimates, Yang is worth about $1.1 billion.
Bostock described Yang as a “visionary and a pioneer”, who has “contributed enormously” to Yahoo. Bostock also defended the recent claims made against Yang.
“He has always remained focused on the best interests of Yahoo’s stakeholders, including shareholders, employees and more than 700 million users,” Bostock said.
“While I and the entire board respect his decision, we will miss his remarkable perspective, vision and wise counsel.”
Yang’s departure marks the end of an ear for Yahoo, which has spent much of the last decade scrambling to catch up to search giant Google.
The move comes just two weeks after Yahoo hired former PayPal executive Scott Thompson as its CEO – its fourth CEO in less than five years – charged with the task of reviving the company.