Jerry Yang resigns from Yahoo

Co-founder Jerry Yang resigned from Yahoo on Wednesday, says Reuters. Yang announced his departure two weeks after Yahoo appointed Scott Thompson as its new CEO. The latter is supposed to bring the company back to the heights it enjoyed in the 1990s.

Jerry Yang was one of the co-founders of the Internet portal in 1995. The company was recently criticized by shareholders because in their opinion, Yahoo pursues an ineffective personal vision which prevents the company from solving its current financial problems.

According to Wall Street analysts, Yang’s departure may smooth the way for a major infusion of cash from the private equity sector. The 40 percent slice that belonged to Yang might be sold to China’s Alibaba. The deal will thus help Yahoo recover its financial stability by unlocking value for shareholders. As a matter of fact, the company has gained 3 percent in the hours that followed the trade.

Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter told the press that the recent changes determine analysts to think a deal with the Asia counterparts is more likely to take place. Shareholders did not agree with Yang’s management; in their opinion, the former CEO was keen on restoring Yahoo’s leading position instead of maximizing near-term shareholder value.

Jerry Yang’s decision to abort a Microsoft sale in 2008 is the reason why the CEO was often criticized in the past years. He has now resigned all his Yahoo positions including his seat on the board of directors. The remaining members will be subject to reelection this year. Hewlett-Packard executive Vyomesh Joshi and private investor Gary Wilson are among the nine members at the leadership of the company.

Yahoo did not make any official statements in relation to Yang’s resignation. The new CEO Thompson released a memo to his employees, but the communication did not explain why Yang wanted to leave. Thompson told his employees that he is grateful for everything that Yang has taught him.

Jerry Yang, on the other hand wrote a letter to Yahoo’s chairman of the board saying that he is leaving the company in order to pursue “other interests outside of Yahoo”. He kind-heartedly recommended Thompson as the new CEO.

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