Yahoo has lagged behind large rivals like Google and small startups, unable to capitalize as much as it should have on many of the hottest Internet opportunities of recent years, like online video, search advertising, social networking and blogging.
There was much hope among industry observers when Yang, a Yahoo cofounder, took over as CEO from Terry Semel in mid-2007, but he failed to deliver on his goals to make Yahoo the preferred starting point for users, the preferred marketing vehicle for online advertisers and the preferred Web application platform for external developers.
His tenure included an unsolicited acquisition attempt by Microsoft, whose failure critics blamed on Yang and the Yahoo board. Later, a deal to let Yahoo run Google search ads collapsed after it became clear the U.S. government planned to challenge it due to antitrust concerns. The deal would have given Yahoo's revenue a significant boost.
Yang's CEO tenure also featured two big rounds of layoffs, an embarrassing exodus of high-profile managers, disappointing financials, a tanking stock price, free-falling employee morale and little or no advances in key areas, like search usage and search advertising.
He plans to remain on the Yahoo board and retain his Chief Yahoo title.
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