Pendiri dan CEO Yahoo! Jerry Yang akhirnya menyatakan bahwa Ia akan segera mengundurkan diri selaku CEO Yahoo! yang disandangnya sejak bulan Juni 2007. Tugas utamanya saat itu adalah untuk mengalahkan Google, pesaing utama dalam bisnis Search Engine dan Online Advertising. Ia telah melakukan perampingan usaha dengan memberhentikan 15.000 karyawan, namun tetap saja laba dan nilai saham Yahoo! menurun terus, terutama sejak awal athun 2008 ketika akhirnya Microsoft menghentikan tawaran akuisisi Yahoo! dengan pembelian saham Yahoo! sebesar US31.00 diatas nilai saham saat itu sebesar US$19.00 (60% nilai premium). Jerry menginginkan Microsoft membeli saham diatas US$31.00/saham, yang ditolak oleh Steve Balmer, CEO Microsoft.
Jerry melakukan upaya untuk kerjasama Advertising dengan Google, namun gagal karena oleh KPPU AS langkah ini dianggap akan menyebabkan persaingan bisnis yang tidak sehat.
Mundurnya Jerry Yang selaku CEO Yahoo! akan membuka kembali upaya Moicrosoft untuk menguasai Yahoo!. Namun menurut para analis, Yahoo! hanya punya dua pilihan: Diakuisisi oleh Microsoft atau merger dengan America Online (AOL).
Yahoo! yang semula adalah Market Leader dalam bisnis Search Engine dan Online Advertising adalah karena kekalahan Strategi Bisnis dan Innovasi Teknologi yang dimenangkan oleh Google. Microsoft adalah ranking ketiga dalam pasar bisnis ini.
—————— sumber berita The New York Times —————-
In a memorandum sent to the company’s staff Monday evening, Mr. Yang, 40, said he would hold the post until the board names his successor, a process he said he would participate in. The Yahoo co-founder said he would then return to his previous job as “chief Yahoo,” a corporate strategy role, and would remain on the board.
In a memorandum typed in his style using no capital letters, he wrote, “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.”
The announcement comes a year and a half after Mr. Yang assumed control of Yahoo from Terry Semel, a Hollywood studio boss that he handpicked for the job. Mr. Yang’s tenure has been marked by a precipitously declining stock price and the high profile collapse of a $44 billion acquisition offer from Microsoft last spring.
A Yahoo spokesman described the decision as “mutual” and “in progress for a while.”
“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 C.E.O. who can take the company to the next level,” Roy J. Bostock, Yahoo’s chairman, wrote in a statement. “We are deeply grateful to Jerry for his many contributions as C.E.O. 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.”
Yahoo has hired executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help look for candidates.
Shares of Yahoo closed at $10.63 in regular trading Monday, but shot up more than 4 percent in after-hours trading, with shareholders expressing some measure of relief that Yahoo’s long downward spiral might finally be arrested.
“It’s definitely positive from a shareholder perspective,” said Ross Sandler, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “Jerry has done less than a stellar job after taking the reins from Terry Semel last year, not just completely botching the Microsoft deal but with poor execution and multiple company restructurings that have done little to restore confidence of any of Yahoo’s shareholders, employees or customers.”
Mr. Sandler also raised the possibility that Mr. Yang’s departure could rekindle interest by Microsoft in Yahoo. Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, has complained that Mr. Yang had no real interest in the deal. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment Monday.
Yahoo said it would look for possible replacements inside and outside the company. Potential candidates include Susan L. Decker, Yahoo’s president; Daniel L. Rosensweig, the former chief operating officer of Yahoo who is now a principal at the investment firm Quadrangle Group; and Jonathan F. Miller, the former head of AOL.
After Mr. Yang was named to take over the Internet portal, search and online advertising company in June 2007, he tried to develop a plan to help Yahoo compete against Google, the dominant company in search and online advertising. He made several major cuts in the staff. On Oct. 21, Yahoo announced it would lay off at least 10 percent of its 15,000 employees, as it said that third-quarter net income fell 64 percent and lowered its revenue projections for the year.
Mr. Yang’s most trying period began in February when Microsoft made an unsolicited bid for the company. He initially refused to accept Microsoft’s bid of $31 a share, a 62 percent premium to its then share price of $19.18. In the following months of negotiations, he showed some willingness to sell the company, but at a much higher price than Microsoft was willing to pay. Microsoft rescinded its offer in May.
Mr. Yang then made an advertising deal with its arch rival Google. The deal was supposed to bring Yahoo $250 million to $450 million in additional cash flow in the first year. Google would deliver ads next to some of Yahoo’s search results and on some of its Web sites in the United States and Canada. Under pressure from regulators over antitrust concerns, Google backed out of the deal this month.
Many analysts and investors have suggested that without the deal, Yahoo would be forced to consider one of two options: a deal with Microsoft, or a merger with AOL.
Yahoo and AOL have discussed a merger for months.
“all of you know that i have always, and will always bleed purple,” Mr. Yang wrote in the memorandum, a reference to Yahoo’s corporate color.