A release just went out over the wires: Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has left the company’s board, and all other positions within the company and its overseas properties, “effective today.” Mr. Yang stepped down as CEO in 2008 and was replaced by recently-ousted Carol Bartz, who was replaced by Scott “Mustache Man” Thompson earlier this month.
Mr. Yang’s statement, via the release:
“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.”
Ms. Bartz’s oustre, Yahoo’s struggles of late (read: the last five years) and shareholders’ enthusiasm upon news of the departure suggest it was more likely the decision was extrinsically motivated. Mr. Yang was widely perceived as an anchor weighing down the company and preventing a sale; now the rest of the board will likely dump Yahoo’s Asia assets (which Mr. Yang also notably resigned from, as emphasized by the release) and potentially try to sell the flagship.
Jerry Yang departs Yahoo. Press press release contains what are surely among history’s most insincere quotesbit.ly/yTlKD0
— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) January 17, 2012