In what came as shocking news to the entire web community, Yahoo! co-founder, Jerry Yang, has officially resigned from Yahoo!
He will no longer be on the board of directors at Yahoo! Inc, Yahoo Japan Corporation and Alibaba Group Holding Limited.
Why Yang is leaving? In his departing letter Yang said:
My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo! As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future.
Wall Street experts say that although Yang’s exit is classified as a resignation in reality this is a force-out and the actual reason for Yang’s exit was his refusal to sell Yahoo to Microsoft Corp back in May 2008. This left many shareholders disgruntled and a move which forced him to step down from his post as the acting CEO to the ‘interim CEO’ in January 2009.
Needless to say, many Yahoo share holders have welcomed this news and the Yahoo shares rose more than 3.5% to $15.99 shortly after the announcement of Yang’s resignation.
While he was apparently popular among employees, Yang was thought of as “an obstructionist, stubbornly convinced that Yahoo should continue on as a stand-alone company” that alienated him for the company’s shareholders.
Yang will be succeeded by Yahoo!’s current (2 week old) CEO Scott Thompson and is the company’s new ray of hope of getting it out of its current difficult times.
Accepting his new position Thompson praised Yang’s contributions to the company:
I am grateful for the warm welcome and support Jerry provided me during my early days here. Jerry leaves behind a legacy of innovation and customer focus for this iconic brand, having shaped our culture by fostering a spirit of innovation that began 17 years ago and continues to grow even stronger today. Jerry has great confidence in the future of Yahoo!, and I share his confidence in the enormous potential of Yahoo! in the days ahead.
It’s not know what Yang has planned for the future, but if the 17 years success of Yahoo! is any indication, I’m sure it will be something great.