Jerry Yang is exiting the Yahoo! Inc (YHOO). board and its management team, the latest casualty of an overhaul that led to the ouster of Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz and left the company in search of strategic options.
Yang, who started Yahoo in 1995 with David Filo, also left the boards of Yahoo Japan Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Asian Web companies Yahoo partly owns, Yahoo said today in a statement. Scott Thompson, former president of EBay Inc. (EBAY)’s PayPal unit, was named CEO on Jan. 4 after a four-month search.
“Jerry’s thrown in the towel,” said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners LP in New York, who rates the stock a “hold” and doesn’t own it. “He founded the company — this is his baby.”
Yang, 43, whose company helped pioneer Web content and searching in the 1990s, exits Yahoo as it struggles to compete with Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. for online users and advertising dollars. As it seeks ways to revive the company and placate impatient investors, Yahoo has considered selling its stakes in its Asian partners, including Alibaba, and has fielded proposals from private equity groups to sell a stake in itself.
“By clearing out some artifacts of the past, it’s symbolic of the company’s desire to move forward,” said Allen Weiner, an analyst at Gartner Inc. in Austin, Texas. “With Jerry out of the way, it will perhaps make negotiations with the folks at Alibaba easier.”
Alibaba Group spokesman John Spelich didn’t immediately respond to messages left seeking comment.
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