Page last updated at 22:11 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Yahoo names new chief executive

Carol Bartz
Ms Bartz is taking over a company with serious problems

Yahoo has named Silicon Valley veteran Carol Bartz as its new chief executive.

Ms Bartz, 60, is a well-respected industry figure who led business software maker Autodesk for 14 years before becoming its chairman in 2006.

Her appointment follows a search for a replacement for the internet portal's co-founder Jerry Yang.

His departure followed lengthy criticism of his stewardship of the company, which has coincided with its share price collapsing to about $12.

He angered investors by turning down a $47.5bn takeover offer from Microsoft last May - worth $33 a share.

Microsoft did however come back and offer to buy the search part of Yahoo, but a deal was never struck.

YAHOO FACTS
Founded in 1995, is based in Sunnyvale, California,
Is the world's second most popular internet search engine - but trails far behind market leader Google
Currently employs about 15,000 staff

Many observers expect that this deal will eventually go through, with a new chief executive at the Yahoo helm.

'Driven'

Before joining Autodesk, Ms Bartz spent nine years at Sun Microsystems, rising to become the second most senior executive behind the then-CEO, Scott McNealy.

She has been named in Fortune magazine's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and featured on Barron's list of the World's 30 Most Respected CEOs.

And observers say that her track record suggest that she was likely to build on Yahoo's strengths.

"She is able to see the essence of things because she doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about how people are going to feel," said Nilofer Merchant, a former Autodesk manager, now chief executive of technology consultant Rubicon.

"She is driven by doing the best thing for the business."

During Bartz's leadership, Autodesk's share price rose by an annual average of nearly 20% - something which analysts say will hearten Yahoo investors who have seen the value of shares slide dramatically.

Scrutiny

In November last year, Mr Yang surprised the industry when he said that Microsoft should still buy Yahoo.

"I don't think it's a bad idea at all, at the right price whatever that price is. We're willing to sell the company," he told the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

The declaration came hours after Google had pulled out of an internet advertising deal with Yahoo amid increasing scrutiny from the US Department of Justice.



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