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Yahoo! Inc's president and COO, Jeff Mallett, will step down in April after seven years at the Internet giant.

Some reports claim Mallett's decision comes after being overlooked for the job of chairman and CEO, which went to Terry Semel last year.

Yahoo! insists, though, that his departure will enable him to "take advantage of greater flexibility for family and business interests".

News that Mr Mallet has decided to bow out coincides with the publication of the latest batch of financial results from the company.

In the three months to the end of December Yahoo! lost $8.7 million on revenues of $188.9 million.

During the same period last year revenues topped $310.9 million against losses of $97.8 million.

Revenues for the full year slipped to $717.4 million with losses of $92.8 million compared to net revenues of $1.1 billion in 2000 and earnings of $70.8 million

CEO Terry Semel admitted that 2001 was a year of "challenges and transition" but said that Q4 revenues and income exceeded its expectations.

Looking ahead, Yahoo! expects revenues for Q1 2002 to come in somewhere between $160 and $180 million, and between $750 and $800 million for the full year.

On Tuesday online auction site, eBay, reported healthy figures, capping off what president and CEO, Meg Whitman, described as "an outstanding year".

Q4 revenues hit a record $219.4 million - up 64 per cent on the same period last year - against net income of $26 million.

For the full year, net revenues were up a whopping 74 per cent at $748.8 million with net income of $90.4 million.

eBay also reported that its international business achieved operating profitability for the first time in Q4.

Looking ahead, eBay predicts that H1 revenues will come in between $490 million and $510 million. ®

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