Jerry Yang to Step Down

Surprised?  You shouldn't be.  This was inevitable once Carl Icahn got his Board seat. After all, he had once said that if he could oust the complete Yahoo! Board, the first order of business for a new Board would be to:
"Move expeditiously to replace Jerry Yang with a new CEO with operating experience."
On Monday, Yahoo! announced that a search for a new CEO had begun. 

In a
press release, Chairman Roy Bostock said:
"Over the past year and a half, despite extraordinary challenges and distractions, Jerry Yang has led the repositioning of Yahoo! on an open platform model as well as the improved alignment of costs and revenues. 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. We are deeply grateful to Jerry for his many contributions as CEO over the past 18 months, and we are pleased that he plans to stay actively involved at Yahoo! as a key executive and member of the Board."
Jerry Yang's statement in that same press release was:
"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."
Even with the enmity of Carl Icahn, Jerry Yang had very little good luck, or rather, lots of bad luck, some of it of his own making, since taking over in 2007 when Terry Semel left the company.  His turning down of an offer from Microsoft of $33 / share looks foolish now, with Yahoo! stock hovering around $11.  And the ad search deal with Google, which would have brought Yahoo! added revenue, was dropped by Google after regulators seemingly continued to find wrong with the deal.  And then, the economic downturn (let's just call it a recession), which no one, aside from some astute economists, who were largely ignored, foresaw.

Now Yahoo! enters another stage in its life; there is obviously way more to come.
Tags:  DOW, Yang