Yahoo CEO Steps Down

Dennis Faas's picture

At last week's shareholders meeting, Yahoo CEO Terry Semel got less-than-rave reviews. As a result, his resignation may turn shareholders frowns upside down.

In his place, Semel leaves co-founder Jerry Yang to take over the executive duties. He also announced that Susan Decker, the company's former chief financial officer who recently became the head of Yahoo's advertising and publishing segment, will fill the role of president. (Source:

The announcement came in a memo issued to Yahoo's board of directors on June 18th. Semel wrote, "As you know, we have long talked about the importance of ensuring a smooth succession in Yahoo's senior leadership, and more recently, about the need for a leadership team committed to carrying Yahoo through its multi-year transformation... This is the time for new executive leadership, with different skills and strengths, to step in and drive the company to realize its full potential. It is the right thing to do, and the right time is now. Jerry and Sue will make an unbeatable team." (Source:

Semel's resignation comes six years after his appointment as CEO. When Semel first filed the role, he was anxious to turn around the troubled company. Although Semel certainly made some noteworthy strides, the complete turnaround was never achieved; despite a 22 per cent increase in revenue in fiscal 2006, the same year saw a disappointing 60 percent decrease in net income. As Semel's optimism continued over the years, shareholders' faith in him wavered. (Source:

Semel's resignation surely pleases many shareholders. However, others believe that his successor may be more cause for concern. Some think that Yang, 38, lacks the managerial experience necessary to run the company. Another worry stems from Yang's close ties to Semel. (Source:

While the future of Yahoo is still a bit cloudy, one thing is for sure: Yang has a big job ahead of him.

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