jerry yang resigns from yahoo

Whoa. Jerry Yang, the controversial co-founder of Yahoo, has resigned from the company's board of directors: Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigns.

Yang co-founded Yahoo in 1995, and while he had taken on various roles in the company over the years, up until now his official title had remained "co-founder and chief Yahoo." He'd faced growing criticism in recent years, accused of mishandling attempts to revive the company.

No doubt, this announcement will appease many of Yahoo's irate investors. Officially, Yang says he's leaving to pursue "other interests outside of Yahoo":
Yahoo's statement (see full statement below) says Yang is leaving the board to pursue other interests. Yahoo's stock price is rallying about 3.7% in after-hours trading, no doubt because investors have seen Yang as a roadblock to a sale or other big shakeup at the company. It's worth keeping in mind, however, that Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock all but ruled out an outright sale of the company, though it's not clear whether he will be on the board for the long term, either.

The timing of Yang's resignation is more than interesting. Yahoo recently appointed a new CEO, ex-PayPal boss Scott Thompson, to take over from fired CEO Carol Bartz. And coming up this spring is Yahoo's annual shareholder meeting, where Yahoo directors are likely to face criticism or pressure over how they handled an ongoing strategic review of the company, and how they handled a sale offer from Microsoft in 2008.
Ah, the botched Microsoft deal. People are still sore over that one. But damn, this does come as a surprise. I really thought Jerry Yang was Yahoo For Life. He may not have been the most popular cat around Silicon Valley, but he is a pioneer in his own right. More here: Jerry Yang Resigns From Yahoo.

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