Instant view: Yahoo co-founder Yang is out, shares rise

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 17, 2012 5:38 PM
Instant view: Yahoo co-founder Yang is out, shares rise

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc co-founder Jerry Yang, who started the company in 1995, has quit the board of the struggling Internet company.

His abrupt departure comes two weeks after Yahoo appointed Scott Thompson to serve as its new CEO. Yang is leaving the company's board of directors as well as all other positions within the company, effective Tuesday, the company said.

Commentary:

RICK SUMMER, ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR

"We have been relatively pessimistic on the likelihood of any sort of major divestiture creating a great deal of upside for investors. Jerry Yang was certainly an impediment toward anything happening.

"This is a company that's been mired by a bunch of competing interests going in different directions. It was never clear what this board's direction has been. We can certainly look back to several years ago, when they were not able to get a successful exit or sale to Microsoft. We obviously know that was not a particularly prudent move.

"Still, however, here we are. If you are to believe that the board was somewhat misdirected, we have largely much of the same board in place.

"We would caution folks to be not overly enthusiastic. It's certainly not a negative for the stock, not a negative for the business. Clearly, how many times can this company stumble and not try and rectify any sort of situation here.

"Taking action at the board level, I think that's a good thing. I think it's good to have a fresh perspective."

BRETT HARRISS, ANALYST, GABELLI & CO

"This is clearly a positive. Yang has been viewed as a roadblock to a deal or even a restructuring. Hopefully it leads to new blood on the board. It provides a more objective and unemotional approach to strategic alternatives.

"It's also good for the new CEO. He has one less entrenched legacy board member to resist his vision."

(Reporting by Liana Baker in New York and Poornima Gupta in San Francisco; editing by Andre Grenon)