Yahoo's Jerry Yang
Yahoo brings in a familiar face for its new CEO

Yahoo has spent quite a bit of time chasing Google's tail lights in the search engine race. Google over the past six months used its power to make advances in the advertising arena -- key examples of this are its $3.1 billion USD purchase of DoubleClick and its partnership with EchoStar. Yahoo in return inked online advertising deals with newspapers and purchased Right Media for $680 million USD.

The feud between the two search giants appears to be taking its toll on Yahoo. Today, Yahoo announced that Terry Semel is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer.

Semel has been Yahoo's CEO since 2001 and witnessed the company's revenues increase nearly nine-fold to $6.4 billion USD under his tenure. Yahoo's Board of Directors also acknowledges that Semel has created over $30 billion USD in shareholder value and increased its user base from 170 million users in 2001 to over 500 million users today. In addition, Yahoo's workforce has increased from 3,500 to 12,000 employees over the past 6 years.

 “Today, we are again addressing challenges created by dramatic changes in the needs of audiences and advertisers,” said Semel. “And of course none of us is at all satisfied with the company's recent financial performance. Despite these difficulties, however, Yahoo! continues to have tremendous fundamental strengths.”

The company will be heading in a new direction under the leadership of Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and Susan Decker who was named company president.

“We believe there is no better person in the world to run Yahoo! now than our visionary co-founder Jerry Yang, who has helped build and run this company over the past 12 years. Jerry provides phenomenal strategic, technical, product and market leadership, and has developed important relationships with major business partners around the globe," said Ed Kozel of Yahoo's board of directors.

"In our new President, Sue Decker, Jerry has the perfect partner. Sue has long been a key leader within the company, and as she has assumed broader operational responsibilities, she has demonstrated her ability to build successful teams, forge critical partnerships and drive some of our most critical business initiatives," continued Kozel.

Yang and Decker will work together to embark on a new vision for Yahoo to help the company succeed in today's environment. "What is that vision? A Yahoo! that executes with speed, clarity and discipline. A Yahoo! that increases its focus on differentiating its products and investing in creativity and innovation," said Yang. "A Yahoo! that better monetizes its audience. A Yahoo! whose great talent is galvanized to address its challenges. And a Yahoo! that is better focused on what’s important to its users, customers, and employees."

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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