Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang Quits

Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang

Yahoo co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang is leaving the struggling online company after 17 years, and AllThingsD reported that there may be others joining him. 

As initially reported by the Associated Press late Tuesday, Mr. Yang’s departure comes just two weeks after Yahoo hired Scott Thompson, the former PayPal President, as CEO. Mr. Yang, who stepped down from his role as CEO in 2008 following a botched takeover bid by Microsoft that ended up damaging Yahoo’s stock price, endorsed Mr. Thompson from his position on the Yahoo board. 

“My time at Yahoo, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life,” Mr. Yang wrote to Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock. “However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo.”

According to AllThingsD, sources close to the situation report that Mr. Yang’s departure’s is “just the first shoe to drop” in what will be a large exodus from the Yahoo board. AllThingsD’s sources claim that at least four other directors will also depart soon, and AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher believes the soon-to-be departed are the above-mentioned Chairman Roy Bostock, Arthur Kern, Vyomesh Joshi, and Gary Wilson.

The departure of Mr. Yang, and possibly more, is the latest move by Yahoo in an attempt to jumpstart the troubled company, which has seen decreasing revenues in recent years despite an overall increase in online ad spending. Competitors Google and Facebook continue to consume the bulk of ad revenue and past efforts by Yahoo, such as partnering with Microsoft for access to its Bing search technology have proved too anemic to stem the tide.

While the situation at Yahoo is dire, there is hope that drastic changes can correct the company’s course. The online giant still holds valuable internet properties that are viewed by over 700 million people worldwide each month. These properties, such as Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance, and Yahoo News also top their respective rankings, beating out competing services for total views.