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Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang Resigns

Departs to ‘pursue other interests’

Jerry Yang | Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

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It’s been a busy month for Yahoo.

Barely two weeks after naming former PayPal boss Scott Thompson its new CEO, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company announced today that co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned. Yang resigned from Yahoo’s board of directors, as well as the boards of Yahoo Japan Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., effective today.

"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,” Yang wrote in a letter to Yahoo’s board. “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."

Yang, who co-founded Yahoo with David Filo in 1995, has served on the board since March 1995 and was CEO from June 2007 to January 2009.

"Jerry Yang is a visionary and a pioneer, who has contributed enormously to Yahoo during his many years of service," Roy Bostock, chairman of the Yahoo board, said in a statement. "It has been a pleasure to work with Jerry. His unique strategic insights have been invaluable. He has always remained focused on the best interests of Yahoo's stakeholders, including shareholders, employees and more than 700 million users. And while I and the entire board respect his decision, we will miss his remarkable perspective, vision and wise counsel. On behalf of the board, we thank Jerry and wish him all the very best in his future endeavors."

Thompson said, "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."

Over the past few months, there’s been no shortage of news from the Internet giant. In September, the company’s board fired CEO Carol Bartz and, following her ouster, many in the industry speculated that Yahoo would sell all or parts of the firm.

After Yang’s departure was announced, shares in Yahoo climbed about 3 percent in afterhours trading to $15.93.