New CEO for Yahoo! seems imminent

9 Jan 2009

Yahoo! could appoint a new CEO within days. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported today that the company is nearing the end of its search to fill the position.

Speculation has been rife about who would take over the role since November, when current CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang announced he was to step down. Now, the WSJ has reported that a decision could come as soon as next week, citing sources close to Yahoo!. 

A number of names have been linked with the top position at the company, including Carol Bartz, former CEO of US engineering software company, Autodesk Inc, and Vodafone’s former chief executive Arun Sarin, who, according to the WSJ, has withdrawn his name.

Yahoo! president Susan Decker has also been tipped as a possible successor to Taiwan-born Yang. However, WSJ sources say that Yahoo!’s board is leaning toward a candidate from outside of the company. Yahoo!, for its part, has declined to comment.

Yang’s decision to step down led to many webpages and column inches back in November, when speculation was rekindled about whether the much-mooted Microsoft deal would be back on the cards.

In early 2008, Microsoft abandoned its US$47bn bid to buy the company, but has continued to press ahead with its own strategy for the internet.

Yang had argued that the Microsoft deal undervalued Yahoo, but his detractors, both inside and outside the company, claimed he wasn’t the right person to help Yahoo! make the necessary choices to move forward. It is believed he will remain as a director with Yahoo!, but will step down as CEO as soon as his successor is found.

By Linda Daly