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Yahoo taps Bartz as CEO, Decker walks

Juan Carlos Perez | Jan. 14, 2009
Yahoo has said it has chosen former Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz as its next CEO to replace Jerry Yang.

MIAMI, 13 JANUARY 2009 - Yahoo said on Tuesday (13 Jan) it has chosen former Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz as its next CEO to replace Jerry Yang, who announced his intention to step down in November.

The company also announced that President Sue Decker, who had been a candidate for the CEO position, has resigned and will leave the company after a transitional period. Decker worked at Yahoo for eight-and-a-half years and was a close supporter of Yang.

In a statement, Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock said Bartz has the right mix of technology and business savvy to lead Yahoo, as well as a strong leadership style and a proven track record of driving growth, shareholder value and operational excellence.

"She is admired in the Valley as well as on Wall Street for her deep management expertise, strong customer orientation, excellent people skills, and firm understanding of the challenges facing our industry," Bostock said.

In the same statement, Bartz praised Yahoo for its assets, technology, staff and accomplishments. "There is no denying that Yahoo has faced enormous challenges over the last year, but I believe there is now an extraordinary opportunity to create value for our shareholders and new possibilities for our customers, partners and employees. We will seize that opportunity," she said.

Yang also praised Bartz, calling her "the ideal person" to drive Yahoo forward. "I believe Yahoo's best years are still ahead of it," he said in the statement.

The news of Bartz's appointment was first reported earlier Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal, which attributed the information to anonymous sources.

Bartz will take up her new job immediately. She also takes a seat on the Yahoo board.

Bartz was Autodesk's executive board chairman. She previously served as its chairman, president and CEO for 14 years, stepping down in April 2006.

While she was at the helm, Autodesk diversified its product line and saw its revenue rise from US$285 million to $1.523 billion, according to Autodesk's corporate Web site.

Before joining Autodesk, Bartz worked at Sun Microsystems, where she was vice president of worldwide field operations and an executive officer, and at Digital and 3M.

President George Bush appointed her to his Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and she is on the boards of Intel, Cisco Systems, NetApp, and the Foundation for the National Medals of Science and Technology.

Her awards include being named as one of the 50 most powerful women in business by Fortune Magazine in 2005 and one of the world's 30 most respected CEOs by Barron's in 2005.

Bartz, who according to the Journal is 60 years old, will have her hands full as Yahoo CEO. The company has been in a technology and financial slump for several years. Multiple corporate shake-ups and reorganizations have failed to trigger a turnaround.


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