Emerging Technology

Yahoo entrepreneur resigns after share slide

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Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned as the company’s chief executive, just 17 months after assuming the role to help restructure the group.

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned as the company’s chief executive, just 17 months after assuming the role to help restructure the group.

“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,” Yang said in a statement.

“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.”

Yang founded the web portal – currently the world’s second-largest search engine – with college friend David Filo in 1996, earning billions a year later when they took the company public. The duo were among the first entrepreneurs to earn billions from the internet.

But since Yang took the CEO position in June 2007, the group’s shares have plummeted from $US27 to just $US11.

The shares have been in freefall since February when Yang rejected a takeover bid from Microsoft priced at $US33 a share. Yang wanted $37 a share, with some claiming his emotional attachment to the business as a reason for the bid’s rejection.

The rejection was met with disdain by shareholders, including prominent investor Carl Icahn, who is now a member of Yahoo’s board.

Yang will remain in the CEO role until a replacement is found, but his departure may signal a return to negotiations with Microsoft. He says he will remain in a “strategic role”.

The group has also been plagued by the economic downturn – a lack of advertisers saw net profit for the third quarter drop to $US54 million from $US151 million during the same time last year. During the company’s peak, its market value stood at $US130 billion; on Tuesday, it was $US16 billion.

Another multi-million dollar advertising deal with Google also fell through after competition regulators opposed the move. The company recently announced plans to lay off approximately 1400 employees, about 10% of its entire workforce.

Following the announcement of Yang’s departure, Yahoo shares jumped 4.42% to $US11.10.

 

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