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Yahoo! bags! CEO! from! PayPal!

Ex-prez drafted in to steer web biz to glory

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As rumoured all over the web this morning, PayPal president Scott Thompson has been snapped up by Yahoo! for the role of chief executive. Yahoo!'s acting CEO Tim Morse has returned to his job as chief financial officer.

Thompson had been with eBay subsidiary PayPal since 2005 and served as president from 2008.

"Scott brings to Yahoo! 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!," Roy Bostock, Yahoo! board chairman, said in a canned statement.

The beleaguered web firm has been without a chief since it fired Carol Bartz back in September in an acrimonious split purportedly done over the phone.

From then on, Yahoo! has been the centre of a whole host of buyout, merger and stake-buying rumours, all stemming from its continued inability to reverse its decline in fortunes.

The latest of these suggested that the firm could flog most of its Alibaba stake and all of its Yahoo! Japan arm back to its partners in the ventures (Alibaba and Softbank respectively), leaving it with a bit of cash to plough into its US operation - the source of most of its woes.

However, private equity buyouts, a renewed courtship with Microsoft or a complete buyout of the firm by Alibaba have also been churned out by the rumour mill.

Yahoo!'s name for this host of possible sell-off opportunities and anything else it might do to revive itself is its "strategic review", which it said Thompson would now be helping out with.

"Scott's primary focus will be on the core business, and as CEO and director, he will work closely with the board as we continue the strategic review process to identify the best approaches for the company and its shareholders," Bostock said.

"As part of this process, Yahoo! is considering a wide range of opportunities for the company's business, as well as specific investments or dispositions of assets," he added. ®

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