New CEO Starts, Co-Founder Quits
Former PayPal President Scott Thompson officially became Yahoo! CEO last week, a few months after Yahoo! sacked CEO Carol Bartz amid speculation that the company was up for sale. Yang's resignation letter does not point to Thompson as the reason for his departure, however. Yang writes:
As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo!! leadership team, to guide Yahoo!! into an exciting and successful future."
Instead, Yang says that it's time for him to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo!, but what those interests are is still unclear.
Business Goes On
Despite the CEO and board turnover at Yahoo! recently, the company continues launching new services and making headlines. In November, for example, the company announced an HTML5 development toolkit; that it was acquiring interclick, a data valuation platform; and that it had joined AOL and Microsoft in a display advertising agreement.
Last summer, we looked at why Yahoo!'s stock was performing so badly, pointing to its outdated view of advertising as the problem:
Yahoo has an awful lot of good things going for it, but its business model and philosophy are very much pre-Web. It’s concerned with using visual advertising to sell people things they don’t want. This traditional advertising approach thinks that the ultimate achievement is to be so clever, unusual, funny or just downright weird that it will grab your attention and headlock you into buying stuff you had no intention of buying."
With a new CEO at the helm, and a 17-year Yahoo! veteran jumping ship, maybe the company is starting to head in a different direction. Whether it's the right direction remains to be seen.