Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang quits, shares jump

“Yahoo Inc co-founder Jerry Yang has quit the company he started in 1995, appeasing shareholders who had blasted the Internet pioneer for pursuing an ineffective personal vision and impeding investment deals that could have transformed the struggling company,” Alexei Oreskovic reports for Reuters.
“Yang’s abrupt departure comes two weeks after Yahoo appointed Scott Thompson its new CEO, with a mandate to return the once-leading Internet portal to the heights it enjoyed in the 1990s,” Oreskovic reports.

“Wall Street views the exit of ‘Chief Yahoo’ Yang as smoothing the way for a major infusion of cash from private equity, or a deal to sell off much of its 40 percent slice of China’s Alibaba, unlocking value for shareholders,” Oreskovic reports. “Shares of Yahoo gained 3 percent in after-hours trade.”

“Yang, who is severing all formal ties with the company by resigning all positions including his seat on the board of directors, has come under fire for his handling of company affairs dating back to an aborted sale to Microsoft in 2008,” Oreskovic reports. “SYang and co-founder David Filo, both of whom carried the official title ‘Chief Yahoo,’ own sizable stakes in the company. Yang owns 3.69 percent of Yahoo’s outstanding shares, while Filo owns 6 percent as of April and May 2011.”

Oreskovic reports, “‘Lots of people think he holds up innovation there with old ideas and (is) slow to decide and that he’s not an innovator himself for being at such a high level,” said one former Yahoo employee. ‘People have very high expectations for founders. Everyone wants a Steve Jobs,’ the employee said, referring to Apple’s co-founder who brought the company back from near death and transformed it into the world’s most valuable tech company.”

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