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Jerry Yang stepping down as Yahoo CEO

November 17, 2008 |  5:15 pm

Jerry Yang

After a stormy tenure at the helm of Yahoo, founder Jerry Yang is stepping down from his position as chief executive of the struggling Internet company.

Yang will return to his previous post as "Chief Yahoo." He will also remain on the company's board.

The company issued the following statement from Yang:

“From founding this company to guiding its growth into a trusted global brand that is indispensable to millions of people, I have always sought to do what is best for our franchise. When the board asked me to become CEO and lead the transformation of the company, I did so because it was important to re-envision the business for a different era to drive more effective growth. Having set Yahoo on a new, more open path, the time is right for me to transition the CEO role and our global talent to a new leader. I will continue to focus on global strategy and to do everything I can to help Yahoo realize its full potential and enhance its leading culture of technology and product excellence and innovation."

Yahoo has started a search to replace him.

According to people close to the situation, Yang, 40, had been contemplating this move over the last couple of months. They say he was not asked to step down.

Since June 2007, when the board asked him to become CEO, Yang has overseen the Sunnyvale, Calif., company he helped launched. Under his watch, Yahoo fended off an unsolicited takeover bid from Microsoft Corp., repeatedly saying the cash-and-stock offer of $31 a share was too low. But since then its shares have tumbled to a fraction of that amount (Yahoo's stock closed today at $10.63, down nearly 2%). Earlier this month, a search-engine advertising partnership with Google, which Yahoo was counting on to boost its revenue and profitability, fell apart after federal regulators decided to challenge the deal on antitrust grounds.

-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Jerry Yang, who is stepping down as CEO of Yahoo. Credit: Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

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