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Yahoo chief Yang to step down

Yahoo Inc co-founder Jerry Yang is stepping down as CEO, ending a rocky reign marked by his refusal to sell the company to Microsoft Corp for $47.5 billion - more than triple Yahoo's current market value.

business Updated: Nov 18, 2008 14:30 IST

Jerry Yang, who helped kick start the internet revolution as co-founder of web portal Yahoo, is stepping down as the company's chief executive.

The announcement by the ailing Internet giant came after months of falling revenue, fierce proxy battles and a series of botched negotiations that scuttled what now seems to have been an exceedingly generous buyout offer from Microsoft.

Yahoo said that the search for a successor had already started and that Yang will leave after his replacement is found.

"Jerry and the board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level," Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock said in a statement.

Yang took over at the company's helm last year as Yahoo fell behind web-search powerhouse Google in attracting users and advertisers to its properties. He soon faced fierce criticism for rejecting a $47.5-billion takeover by Microsoft, in a deal that would have valued Yahoo at almost three times what it is worth on Tuesday.

Microsoft's offer was worth $33 per share, while Yahoo traded at just $10.63 per share at the close of Monday trading.

"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," Yang said.

"I will continue to focus on global strategy and to do everything I can to help Yahoo realise its full potential and enhance its leading culture of technology and product excellence and innovation," he said.

First Published: Nov 18, 2008 12:00 IST