Yahoo! co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang is stepping down from his top dog position, ending speculation that he might surrender his title following what many see as a botched buyout deal with Microsoft. Mr. Yang will stay on with the company as Chief Yahoo! and as a member of the board once his successor has been found.
"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," Mr. Yang said. "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."
Yahoo! Chairman Roy Bostock added that the board has been involved in discussions with Mr. Yang about transitioning to a new CEO for some time, adding "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."
Microsoft presented Yahoo! with an unsolicited takeover bid at the beginning of the year in an effort to bolster its own position in the online search advertising market. Yahoo! rejected the deal, leading to a drawn out battle between the companies. Yahoo! later struck a tentative deal with its competitor Google, but that recently fell through, too, because Google wasnit interested in dealing with a pre-deal U.S. antitrust investigation.
Mr. Yang stepped into the CEO roll a little over a year ago in June 2007. He will assist in choosing his successor.