Yahoo Co-founder Jerry Yang Resigns, Shares Rise 3 Percent

Yahoo Co-founder Jerry Yang Resigns, Shares Rise 3 Percent

Yahoo Inc co-founder Jerry Yang has left the company he started in 1995. He was under fire from shareholders who had blamed him for impeding investment deals that could have aided the struggling company.

Alexei Oreskovic, in a report for Reuters, writes:

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.

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.

Shares of Yahoo gained 3 percent in after-hours trade.

“Everyone is going to assume this means a deal is more likely with the Asia counterparts,” said Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter. “The perception among shareholders was Jerry was more focused on trying to rebuild Yahoo than necessarily on maximizing near-term shareholder value.

“It certainly seems things are coming to a head as far as realizing the value of these assets.”

Yang is severing all formal ties with the company, resigning all positions including his seat on the board of directors. He has been under fire for his handling of the company, dating back to the scuttled sale to Microsoft in 2008.

“People have very high expectations for founders. Everyone wants a Steve Jobs,” one Yahoo 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.