Yahoo just announced that co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned from its board of directors.
“My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life,” Yang wrote in a letter to chairman Roy Bostock. “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.”
Yang’s departure comes shortly after the appointment of Thompson (who was previously president at PayPal) as Yahoo’s new CEO.
In addition to co-founding the company with David Filo, Yang held the CEO position from June 2007 to January 2009, until, under much criticism for his handling of acquisition talks with Microsoft and the company’s lackluster performance, he was fired and replaced by Carol Bartz, who was fired in turn. Following Bartz’s departure, hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb (who had purchased a large stake in the company) complained about reports that Yang was trying to enlist private equity firms in a plan that would help him take control of the company — Loeb said that if the reports were true, Yang needed to get off the board.
For the first time, it sounds like Yang is completely abandoning any official role within the company. He’s leaving the board, resigning all other positions within the company, and also resigning from Yahoo Japan and Alibaba.