Yahoo nabs a leader from eBay’s PayPal

YAHOO has named PayPal’s Scott Thompson its fourth chief executive in less than five years, concluding a four month search for a new leader after Carol Bartz was ousted in September.

Thompson, who will also become a director, will on Monday take the helm from Tim Morse, Yahoo’s chief financial officer, who has been manning the company since Bartz’s departure. Morse will resume his former position.

As president of PayPal since 2008, Thompson saw eBay’s payments division cement its place at the top of its industry, growing revenues in the company from $1.8bn (£1.15bn) to more than $4bn in 2011.

Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock said: “Scott brings a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo.”

Thompson noted: “Clearly speed is important but we will attack both the opportunity ahead and the competitive challenges with an appropriate balance of urgency and thoughtfulness.”

Yahoo has been in the public eye lately due to speculation of a buyout of the stagnating internet company, which is suffering due to increasing competition from online rivals.

It announced plans last month to reduce its holdings with China’s Alibaba Group and Japan’s Softbank.

Shares closed down 3.25 per cent at $15.78.

FOUR CEOs IN FIVE YEARS

Scott Thompson
As president of PayPal, a position he held since 2008, Thompson took the e-payments company to global dominance, expanding its userbase from 50m to more than 104m users worldwide. He was previously PayPal’s senior vice president and chief technology officer. Thompson introduced a new global infrastructure while chief financial officer of Barclays Global Investors, and was executive vice president of technology solutions at Visa subsidiary Inovant. He said he is excited to be joining “industry icon” Yahoo for its “next era of success”.

Carol Bartz
The Minnesota-born business executive was chief executive of Yahoo for 32 months, starting from January 2009. Bartz was dropped from the internet giant via a phone call in September 2011, prompting former Yahoo vice president Brad Garlinghouse to tweet: “ding dong the witch is dead”. Prior to joining Yahoo, Bartz was chairman, president and chief executive of design software company Autodesk.


Jerry Yang
The co-founder of Yahoo was brought back to regain shareholder confidence after shareholders’ disappointment in Semel’s tenure. However, Yang also resigned – after just over a year – in the wake of criticism from investors for failing to increase revenues and the company’s stock price, and for rejecting a merger deal with Microsoft. Yang remains on the board of directors, holding the title “Chief Yahoo”.

Terry Semel
Appointed as chief executive in April 2001, Semel resigned six years later in June 2007 amid ongoing criticism from shareholders over his performance and compensation. In 2006 Semel took a $1 salary and stock options worth $70m. The board wrote in an open letter, “We all agree that the time for a change is now”, pointing to Semel’s own indication that he wished to step back from his frontline positions.