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Yang to step down as Yahoo chief

It has been one of the most drawn-out goodbyes in recent history, but last night Yahoo boss Jerry Yang
For the poker player, see Jerry Yang (poker player).

Jerry Chih-Yuan Yang (Traditional Chinese: 楊致遠; Simplified Chinese:
 finally gave in to his critics as he announced his decision to step down as the company's chief executive.

Months after scuttling Scuttling is the act of deliberately sinking a ship by allowing water to flow into the hull. This can be achieved in several ways - valves or hatches can be opened to the sea, or holes may be ripped into the hull with brute force or with explosives.  a potential $44bn takeover by Microsoft, the 40-year-old confirmed that he would be resigning his post – but only once a suitable successor has been found.

The decision brings to an end a long period of speculation over Yang's future at the top of the company he helped found in 1994.

In a statement Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock said he was "deeply grateful" to Yang, but would be starting a search for a new leader who could "take the company to the next level".

"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 (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. ," Bostock said.

Although the timing of the announcement came as a surprise, it had been widely predicted that Yang's tenure was drawing to a close, particularly following severe criticism over his handling of a $44bn takeover bid Noun 1. takeover bid - an offer to buy shares in order to take over the company
two-tier bid - a takeover bid where the acquirer offers to pay more for the shares needed to gain control than for the remaining shares
 from Microsoft earlier this year.

"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," he said in a statement. "I will continue to focus on global strategy and to do everything I can to help Yahoo! realise its full potential."

Yang was a surprise choice for the job when he took over 18 months ago, succeeding former Hollywood executive Terry Semel Terry Semel (born on February 24, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.) is a notable American corporate executive who was the chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Incorporated. Previously, Semel spent 24 years at Warner Brothers, where he served as chairman and co-chief executive officer. . Although he had helped start the internet company 14 years ago, he did not have experience running a large company and campaigned largely on his passion.

Although his dedication and commitment have never been questioned – just a few days ago he told a crowd at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco that he would "run through walls" for Yahoo – his shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.

Shortcomings may also be:
  • Shortcomings (SATC episode), an episode of the television series Sex and the City
 were cruelly exposed by events both outside and within his control.

Yahoo's share price has been hammered during the financial crisis and profits for the last quarter showed a drastic drop. That news led the company to confirm last month that it planned to shed around 1,500 jobs – cuts that come on top of another 1,000 layoffs in January.

Even taking into account the tough economic conditions, Yahoo has suffered more than most, with its stock falling below $10 a share last week – down from highs of $30 earlier this year.

But it is the botched botch  
tr.v. botched, botch·ing, botch·es
1. To ruin through clumsiness.

2. To make or perform clumsily; bungle.

3. To repair or mend clumsily.

 negotiations with Microsoft which will linger in the memory and did the most damage to Yang's reputation.

After the failure of his drawn-out negotiations with the Seattle software company, many investors felt that Yang had deliberately scuppered the Microsoft deal in order to keep the company independent. Among those fiercely critical of the approach was corporate raider corporate raider

See raider.
 Carl Icahn Carl Celian Icahn (born February 16, 1936) is an American billionaire financier, corporate raider, and private equity investor. Carl Icahn Net worth is $14.5 Billion as of 2007 Forbes estimate. , who threatened a hostile takeover Hostile Takeover

A takeover attempt that is strongly resisted by the target firm.

Hostile takeovers are usually bad news, as the employee moral of the target firm can quickly turn to animosity against the acquiring firm.
 of the Yahoo board.

But although Yang recently insisted that there was "no poison pill A defensive strategy based on issuing special stock that is used to deter aggressors in corporate takeover attempts.

The poison pill is a defensive strategy used against corporate takeovers.
" approach to the Microsoft offer, his critics remained vocal, particularly after Yahoo's share price continued to plunge.

By the end of his term Yang must have felt like the chief executive's job was a poisoned chalice chalice [Lat.,=cup], ancient name for a drinking cup, retained for the eucharistic or communion cup. Its use commemorates the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. . Even his attempt to come up with a profitable alternative to the Microsoft deal – a multimillion-dollar advertising agreement with rival Google – failed after Google decided to pull out following an investigation by the US Department of Justice.

The decision to step down will come as a painful personal blow to Yang, who founded Yahoo with Stanford friend David Filo in 1994 and has regularly stated his commitment to the site.

The 40-year-old billionaire said he had always acted in the company's interests, and planned to retain his former title of "chief Yahoo" and stay heavily involved in decision-making.

"I have always sought to do what is best for our franchise," said Yang in a statement. "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."

But with Yahoo on the rocks after a tumultuous year, his time at the top was looking increasingly limited.

"The company is in desperate need of change, and this is clearly one way to do it," Ross Sandler, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets RBC Capital Markets is the corporate and investment banking division of Royal Bank of Canada ("RBC"). Broker dealers
Depending on the jurisdiction, the division uses different broker dealer subsidiaries of RBC:
  • Canada: RBC Dominion Securities Inc
 told Reuters.

It is not yet clear who the leading contenders to take over Yang's job are, but Bostock said the board would vet candidates from inside the company and from elsewhere in the business world.
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Date:Nov 18, 2008
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