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ImageJerry Yang, Yahoo

After a rocky tenure at Yahoo, co-founder Jerry Yang stepped down as chief executive this November.

Among the Silicon Valley dotcom billionaires, Yang was named CEO in June 2007 after Terry Semel exit. As CEO, Yang struggled to turn around the company's dwindling fortunes. The rejection of Microsoft offer and a failed advertising deal with Google marred his brief tenure.

Earlier this year, Yang rejected a $33 per share offer by Microsoft for Yahoo worth a total of more than $47 billion. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer later withdrew the offer after Yang sought $37 per share. The negotiating breakdown triggered a shareholder revolt led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who called for Yang's ouster in July. Since then Yahoo has been trading at between $10-12 a share.

With a fortune estimated at $2.23 billion, some shareholders accused Yang of putting his personal affection for the company he created over the interests of its shareholders. After squandering the opportunity to sell to Microsoft, Yang tried to boost Yahoo's profit by forging an advertising partnership with Google. But this backup plan too fell when Google walked away from the deal to avoid a court battle with the US Justice Department, which concluded that the partnership may throttle competition in the online advertising market.
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