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Investment banker Blake Jorgensen will step into the CFO slot vacated at Yahoo when Susan Decker was tapped to run the company's advertising and publishing business.
Laura DeMars, CFO.com | US
May 15, 2007
After months of searching, Yahoo has finally chosen a replacement for former CFO Susan Decker. The company announced Tuesday that investment banker Blake Jorgensen would fill the slot next month. Jorgensen is the co-founder of investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners Group, which he helped start in 1998, and has served in various capacities, including chief operating officer and most recently as co-director of investment banking.
"I am very excited about this opportunity and to be joining such a fantastic senior management team and the world class finance team that Susan Decker built when she was CFO," Jorgensen told CFO.com.
Jorgensen's appointment comes on the back end of a massive reorganization effort that Yahoo initiated last December in response to a falling stock price and struggling ad sales. In the midst of the shake up, then-CFO Decker was named head of the company's advertiser and publisher sector in hopes that she could improve revenues. The company continued to struggle last month, reporting an 11 percent drop in first-quarter profit from display ads.
Decker was widely credited with moving Yahoo from an indexing site to one based primarily on search — which is now the company's single biggest money maker. In an interview with CFO in 2005, Decker said the role of CFO at Yahoo was more of a "leader on thinking about how to create value for the company over many, many years — not next year or next quarter."
Asked by CFO.com about his ideas for future strategies, Jorgenson said "It's too early for me to think of that until after I get inside and better understand the business and see how I can be supportive to the key product lines and staff."
Before joining Thomas Weisel Partners, Jorgensen was a managing director and principal at the corporate finance department of Montgomery Securities, an investment bank focused on high-tech customers. According to Yahoo, "Jorgensen will be a key member of Yahoo's executive team, overseeing the company's finance, investor relations and mergers and acquisitions groups."
CEO Terry Semel said in a statement that "Blake's broad financial, operating and strategic experience, which complements the deep financial expertise of our existing team, will make him a valuable addition to Yahoo's senior management." He also said Jorgensen's appointment would now allow Decker, who was also serving as interim CFO, to fully focus on her duties in the advertiser and publisher department.