As one of Silicon Valley’s top Asian visionary and search engine pioneer, Jerry Yang resigned from Yahoo’s board of directors and from all executive positions on Tuesday January 17, 2012. Yang was Yahoo’s CEO from June 2007 to January 2009. Yang spent 17 years with the search engine pioneer company and co-founded Yahoo! with David Filo. When Yahoo! was formed as an Internet directory in 1995, Yang and Filo were students at the prestigious Stanford University. They both became billionaires as Yahoo went public in 1996.
In December 2011, Yahoo! Search lost its second ranking in term of search market share in America to Microsoft Bing decision engine. Yahoo and Bing formed a Search Alliance in July 2009 as Microsoft rebranded its search engine to Bing. The pioneer search engine recently appointed former PayPal’s President Scott Thompson as the new CEO.
With Yahoo’s stock market losing value, several shareholders have asked Yang to resign from Yahoo’s board of directors after the Thanksgiving holiday in November 2011. Wall Street analysts speculated that Yang may have some conflict of interests as he was trying to become the bridge between investors and corporates who were interested to take the Silicon Valley-based company private.
Yang is still one of Yahoo’s largest individual shareholders. While Yang is out for now, he could still return to Yahoo! in the future as he is now working hard to convince and gather all his friends including Alibaba.com to help out with Asian cash to buy out Yahoo! entirely.