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Back to their roots: Yahoo! appoints Jerry Yang as CEO

Looks like Semel is (finally) out at Yahoo!. Little birds tell me that Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang has taken over as CEO.

Interesting. I was at Yahoo! & BBC HackDay UK yesterday and David Filo (the other Yahoo! co-founder) seemed rather preoccupied with other matters. My HackDay post coming ASAP btw.

I’m actually pleased about this news. I think Yahoo!’s a great and important company, and it’s been really sad to see the wind knocked out of their sails and areas of low staff morale. Google needs some competition, even if Yahoo! have all-but-turned-their-backs on search these days.

With such a low market cap I’ve been really concerned about a nasty takeover ruining the good work and general direction of the company. I still fear a Comcast or AT&T buy out – so I hope Jerry can pull the company out of danger. I would be concerned that a telco or other large corporate might decide to use Yahoo!’s assets in ways that would detrimentally change the ethos and nature of the company.

Terry Semel did some good work early on in his tenure but he simply burned out over time. Compare him to the ever-passionate Eric Schmidt and you can see the fire was gone in his belly. He lost the passion. Yahoo! is current stalled and I hope Jerry can bring the passion back. If anyone can, the co-founder can.

Also interesting that Susan Decker is moving from CFO to President. These two promotions, along with the other recent executive departures, it leaves quite a gap in Yahoo’s VP-level and lower C-level roster. I wonder whether folks like Bradley Horowitz, currently VP of Product Strategy, and Jeff Weiner, EVP Network Division, will see a promotion coming their way very shortly?

I shared a pleasant journey home from HackDay with Bradley last night – he certainly kept this quiet! 🙂

Published in Thoughts and Rants