Yahoo! Inc. has announced that co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned from company's board of directors as well as the boards of Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group Holding, effective Tuesday.
In a letter to the Yahoo! board chairman Roy Bostock, Yang wrote: "My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. 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 co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in 1995 with David Filo. He had served as a member of the board of directors since March 1995 and as CEO from June 2007 to January 2009. He was succeeded by Carol Bartz, who was forced out in September.
The company went public in 1996 but has struggled in recent years against Google and Facebook for online advertising. Former PayPal executive Scott Thompson started work as the company's CEO last week.
"Jerry Yang is a visionary and a pioneer, who has contributed enormously to Yahoo! during his many years of service," said Roy Bostock, chairman of the Yahoo! board in a statement. "It has been a pleasure to work with Jerry. His unique strategic insights have been invaluable. He has always remained focused on the best interests of Yahoo!'s stakeholders, including shareholders, employees and more than 700 million users. And while I and the entire Board respect his decision, we will miss his remarkable perspective, vision and wise counsel. On behalf of the Board, we thank Jerry and wish him all the very best in his future endeavors."
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Thompson noted: "I am grateful for the warm welcome and support Jerry provided me during my early days here. Jerry leaves behind a legacy of innovation and customer focus for this iconic brand, having shaped our culture by fostering a spirit of innovation that began 17 years ago and continues to grow even stronger today. Jerry has great confidence in the future of Yahoo!, and I share his confidence in the enormous potential of Yahoo! in the days ahead."