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Co-Founder Jerry Yang To Leave Yahoo!


Let's stay with Internet news for a moment. Yahoo is undergoing another big management shakeup. Yesterday, Jerry Yang, the co-founder and former CEO, said he is stepping down from the company's board of directors.

NPR's Steve Henn has more from Silicon Valley.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: For months late last year, Yahoo's board of directors was mulling a deal that could have sold the Internet company or broken it apart.

CHARLENE LI: But the question always in the back of people's mind is would Jerry Yang, the founder of the company, be interested I going along with that.

HENN: Charlene Li follows the Yahoo at the Altimeter Group. Yang blocked Microsoft's bid to buy Yahoo back in 2008. That decision ultimately cost Yahoo's share holders billions. And in recent years, Yahoo has struggled to hold its grounds in the increasingly competitive Internet advertising market.

DAVID HALLERMAN: 2011, it didn't grow. It was down about 3 percent in the United States, which is the bulk of their market.

HENN: David Hallerman tracks Yahoo's ad sales at eMarketer. He says for many investors, Yahoo has lost its luster.

HALLERMAN: Because they're not going to be as strong as they were before.

HENN: But the board's decision earlier this month to hire former eBay executive Scott Thompson to run Yahoo signaled the company would remain intact. Still, Yahoo's under intense pressure from its largest shareholders to boost results.

Charlene Li says a shakeup on the board was overdue.

LI: Yahoo's board has been seen as being very much entrenched in the old way of thinking of what Yahoo was.

HENN: Yahoo still has 700 million users, but Li believes that what it needs is a clear vision for the future. With Yang now gone, more board resignations are expected.

Steve Henn, NPR News, Silicon Valley. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Steve Henn is NPR's technology correspondent based in Menlo Park, California, who is currently on assignment with Planet Money. An award winning journalist, he now covers the intersection of technology and modern life - exploring how digital innovations are changing the way we interact with people we love, the institutions we depend on and the world around us. In 2012 he came frighteningly close to crashing one of the first Tesla sedans ever made. He has taken a ride in a self-driving car, and flown a drone around Stanford's campus with a legal expert on privacy and robotics.