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Yahoo! to! name! former! Autodesk! chief! as! new! CEO!

Good luck, Carol Bartz

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Updated It appears that Yahoo! will name former Autodesk boss Carol Bartz as its next chief executive officer.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Bartz has accepted the company's offer to replace Jerry Yang, the man who rejected a $47.5bn takeover bid from Steve Ballmer and Microsoft.

Yahoo! did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The sixty-year-old Bartz has her work cut out for her. In June, Microsoft offered $33 a share for the popular web portal, and at last check, Yahoo!'s share price was just a tad over $12. Profits were down 64 per cent in the third quarter, and in mid-December, the company waved goodbye to 1,500 workers.

On November 18, Yang said he would quit the CEO post as soon as his board found a replacement. After Bartz takes over, the company co-founder will return to his role as "Chief Yahoo!", whatever that is.

In rejecting Microsoft's $47.5bn takeover offer, Yahoo! forged a search ad pact with arch-rival Google. But Mountain Viewers abandoned the deal in the weeks before Yang announced his resignation. The US Justice Department had threatened an antitrust suit.

Yang then seemed to revive talk of a Microsoft merger at a tech conference in San Francisco, but Ballmer wouldn't have it, and Yahoo!'s shares took yet another tumble.

Carol Bartz still serves as executive chairman of Autodesk. She was CEO of the San Rafael, California-based 2D and 3D design software maker from 1992 to 2006, and before that, she was with Sun Microsystems.

Bartz currently sits on Cisco Systems' board with Jerry Yang and on Intel's board with Yahoo! president Susan Decker, who was passed over for the Yahoo! CEO role.

Last week, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Steve Ballmer told the FT that Microsoft may still sign a search ad pact with Yahoo!, saying this would most likely happen after Yahoo! appointed a new CEO. Redmond's new search chief, Qi Lu, was poached from Yahoo!. ®

Updated

A Yahoo! press released has confirmed that Carol Bartz has been named Yahoo! CEO and a member of its board of directors. "We are very excited to have Carol Bartz leading Yahoo! into its next era of growth," reads a canned statement from board chairman Roy Bostock. "She is the exact combination of seasoned technology executive and savvy leader that the Board was looking for, and we are thrilled to have attracted such a world-class talent to Yahoo!.

"She is admired in the Valley as well as on Wall Street for her deep management expertise, strong customer orientation, excellent people skills, and firm understanding of the challenges facing our industry. Carol meets all of the criteria we set for the search and is the only person to whom we offered the job. The Board is united in its view that her energetic and decisive leadership style, coupled with a proven track record of driving growth, operational excellence and shareholder value, is exactly what Yahoo! needs to get back on a path toward achieving its full potential."

Yahoo! has also announced that President Sue Decker will resign from the company after a "transition period." Decker also interviewed for the CEO post. "The Board thanks Sue for her service as President, the important contributions she has made to Yahoo!'s development in a variety of roles over the past 8-1/2 years, and her willingness to work with Carol Bartz to ensure a smooth transition. We respect her decision to move on to other challenges and wish her only the best."</>

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