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Jerry Yang quits Yahoo

Warwick Ashford

Jerry Yang, co-founder and former chief executive of Yahoo, has finally cut ties with the company by resigning from its board after 16 years.

He has also resigned from the boards of Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group. Jerry Yang said in a statement: "The time has come for me to pursue other interests outside Yahoo."

Yang founded the online company in 1995 with David Filo. Yang served as chief executive from June 2007 until he resigned the post in January 2009, after turning down a $47.5bn takeover offer from Microsoft.

Although Yang’s resignation comes just two weeks after Yahoo hired former PayPal executive, Scott Thomson, as its new chief executive, he said he was enthusiastic about the appointment.

Thomson replaces Carol Bartz, who was brought in after Yang’s ouster, but then failed to turn around Yahoo’s fortunes hit by the economic downturn and increased competition.

When he refused the Microsoft takeover, Yang angered many shareholders, who have since seen the value of the company drop $27.5bn below the offer price.

Shareholders have responded positively to news of his departure, with Yahoo shares rising 3.4% in after-hours trading, according to the BBC.

Analysts also see the news as positive, saying the new chief executive can adopt an objective and unemotional approach to strategic alternatives. Yang was widely viewed as a roadblock to a deal or even a restructuring.

There has been no indication yet of where Yang will go. US SEC filings show he still owns about 47m Yahoo shares, worth roughly around $725m, according to The Guardian.


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