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Yahoo!'s Decker! defends! Goo-Hoo!

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Yahoo! president Susan Decker has criticised the company’s naysayers, many of whom have protested against the fraught firm’s recent web search ad deal with Google.

In an interview with Reuters on Friday, she insisted that the new Goo-Hoo! agreement would not nullify Yahoo!’s position in the internet search market where it is second-placed behind, er, Google.

Decker said Yahoo!’s Panama search advertising system would not be hampered by the deal. Instead she reckoned the agreement would help bring in more cash off of less popular search terms.

“It’s really a back-fill in places where we’re not doing much business,” she said. “It’s our choice every day whether and how we might serve ads from Yahoo! or Google, or a third party if we opened it up further.”

But she refused to be drawn on the inner turmoil that has engulfed Yahoo! over the past week, which has seen a number of key executives scurry for the exit door.

Shares, which are currently trading at $21.99 on Wall Street, have tumbled 16 per cent since the Sunnyvale, California-based firm walked away from buyout talks with Microsoft.

Decker, did however acknowledge why many gobsmacked investors have grumbled about the company’s surprising Google tie-in.

“This is a unique deal. The market and participants are still getting their arms around what this means,” she said.

“It’s not a wholesale or even partial getting out of a business, and that’s where I think there’s been a lot of noise from various parties that are trying to characterise it as something different.”

Meanwhile, Russian search engine and portal website Yandex announced on Friday that it had hired Vish Makhijani as its new president and CEO of its San Francisco Bay Area lab.

Until last week, Makhijani had served as Yahoo’s senior vice president in charge of search.

Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh said: "Vish and his group at Yandex Labs will help to develop and improve Yandex's core technology capabilities including the quality of algorithmic search for the Russian audience."

He added: "We did not hesitate to go the extra mile to find this rare talent." ®

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