Yahoo! decides more Yang needed in balance

19 Jun 2007

In reshuffling senior positions at Yahoo! headquarters the company has decided that something old will become something new. Company co-founder Jerry Yang is to return as its CEO.

Yang, who co-founded Yahoo! in 1995 with fellow Stanford graduate David Filo, previously served as company CEO until the dotcom bubble burst and the company called on Warner Bros ex-chairman and co-CEO Terry Semel to step in.

Semel served as Yahoo CEO for six years before the surprise announcement late yesterday of his stepping into the considerably lesser role of non-executive chairman and management team advisor.

Analysts have been speculating change in the Yahoo! ranks for some time in the face of market pressures from dominating search engine Google.

Semel said in an official statement: “This is the time for new executive leadership, with different skills and strengths, to step in and drive the company to realise its full potential. It is the right thing to do and the right time is now.”

Following the dotcom decline in the late Nineties and early Noughties, Semel managed to monetise Yahoo! by steering it in an advertisement heavy direction.

However, recent criticism, which came to a head in Yahoo!’s annual meeting last week, pointed towards Yahoo! failing to keep up with emerging trends like social networking and failing to keep pace with the ever-expanding Google.

Yang, who is primarily a technologist, is hoped to bring about new changes in the Yahoo! camp and the rumour mill is buzzing about a possible merger with Time Warner’s AOL.

By Marie Boran