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Yahoo! Founder Steps Back in as CEO

After six years at the top of Yahoo!, CEO Terry Semel has resigned in the face of stiff criticism from shareholders and other concerned observers over a number of items, not least of which was his $71 million USD compensation for the last 12 months. Replacing Semel is Jerry Yang, one of the original co-founders of Yahoo!.

Concerns have been voiced that although Yang helped to found the search and online portal giant, his lack of senior managerial experience and significant ties to the departing CEO will see the company continue on much the same course. While Yang was CEO for a period prior to the company going public, he hasn't held the position while the company has been a publicly traded entity.

Compounding Yahoo!'s problems is the loss of market share that the company has experienced in the fields of online search and online advertising - the latter especially compounded by Google's purchase of DoubleClick.

While this has a direct effect on the bottom line for Yahoo!, it is positioned slightly differently to the other main search providers - Yahoo! is more of an online portal than a pure search engine.

Speculation has already begun to circulate that Yahoo! will be looking to divest some of its interests, perhaps in the online photo sharing solution, Flickr, Yahoo!'s Instant Messaging solution, or perhaps its popular online finance sites.

Yahoo!'s share price initially responded positively, but it settled back in following trading sessions.

A rumour that News Corporation is considering exchanging MySpace for a 25% stake in Yahoo! has raised some eyebrows, and could make for an interesting online environment (and an interesting News environment considering Yahoo! news sources, and News Corporation's push for the Dow Jones Group - which owns the Wall Street Journal).

20 June 2007

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