Although Yang isn’t completely leaving Yahoo! (he will still remain as “cheif yahoo” and still be on the board of directors) he has decided to step down from the CEO position.
I don’t have much to say about this decision other than it will probably make a lot of stock holders happy (all of the ones who wished Yahoo! would have been purchased by Microsoft) but in the short term it will do nothing more than extend the amount of time it will take for Yahoo! to do what it needs to do, which is focus on… something. Yang wasn’t able to give the company that focus but let’s remember that he has only been CEO since June 2007 and that may have not been enough time to really figure out what needs to be done.
I personally think that this decision may have been made due to pressure from the media and possible other people within Yahoo! who didn’t seem to think that Yang was doing a very good job. I don’t exactly agree with those who weren’t happy with Yang, I just don’t think he had enough time to make the changes that he needed to. Another 6-12 months probably would have done the whole company a lot of good, but maybe that’s whey I’m not running a big company like he was.
Below is the memo sent by Jerry Yang to the entire company:
To: all yahoos
i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!. roy bostock, our chairman of the board, is leading the effort to identify and assess potential candidates for consideration by the full board. the board will be evaluating and considering both internal and external candidates and has retained heidrick and struggles to help in this effort.
i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board.
last june, i accepted the board’s request that i assume the ceo role to restructure and reposition the company as a whole in order to more effectively meet the fast-changing needs of both users and partners. since taking on the ceo role, i have had an ongoing dialogue with the board about succession timing. thanks in large measure to your tireless efforts, we have created a more open, competitive yahoo! and we believe the time is now right to transition to a new ceo who can take the company to the next level.
despite the external environment we face, the fact remains that yahoo! is now a significantly different company that is stronger in many ways than it was just 18 months ago. this only makes it all the more essential that we manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point as effectively as possible. i strongly believe that having transformed our platform and better aligned costs and revenues, we have a unique window for the right ceo to take ownership over the next wave of mission-critical decisions facing the company.
all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential.