Yahoo! replaces CEO with co-founder Jerry Yang

Yahoo!’s Chariman and Chief Executive, Terry Semel, is leaving Yahoo! as CEO after joining the company in May 2001.  He is being replacing by co-founder Jerry Yang after investors pressured the company to make changes.  Yahoo’s stock (YHOO) went up 3.5% in extended trading after hearing the news, a trend that started after rumors surfaced this morning.  Semel will remain chairman in a non-executive role.

Stockholders became especially concerned after learning that Semel received a $71.7 million pay package last year, although the stock has been down 20% from it’s 1-year high of $33.74.  That CEO pay package was more than another other of 386 publicly held companies the Associated Press analyzed after new SEC disclosure rules.  Yahoo!, like Microsoft, has faced increasing competition from Google, but also MySpace and Facebook.  Yahoo! is loosing users and thus revenue to the competition.

More on Jerry Yang:

Jerry Yang, a Taiwanese native raised in San Jose, Calif., co-created the Yahoo! Internet navigational guide in April 1994 with David Filo and co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in April 1995. Mr. Yang, a leading force in the media industry, has been instrumental in building Yahoo! into the world’s most highly trafficked Web site and one of the Internet’s most recognized brands. A member of Yahoo!’s board of directors, Mr. Yang works closely with the company’s CEO and executive team to develop corporate business strategies and guide the future direction of the company. Mr. Yang is currently on the Board of Directors of Alibaba, the Asian Pacific American Community Fund, Cisco and Yahoo! Japan, and is also on the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Mr. Yang holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University and is currently on a leave of absence from Stanford’s electrical engineering Ph.D. program.

Both Yang and David Filo were key to making Yahoo! a success back in the mid-90s, let’s hope they can revive Yahoo! into a great company.


Update: I’ve had to make several changes as a number of articles I cited changed their information [8% to 3.5%] or simply took them down [Yahoo! Press Release].  I guess that’s what happens when there’s a developing new story.