People

Yahoo Hands CEO Post to Yang, Not Decker

Former CFO Susan Decker was the favorite to become the Internet company's new CEO, but company co-founder Jerry Yang has landed that job instead.
Sarah JohnsonJune 18, 2007

Yahoo named former CFO Susan Decker as president, but gave the CEO reins to co-founder Jerry Yang in a major management shakeup that moved former chief executive Terry Semel into the job of non-executive chairman and corporate adviser.

Yahoo announced Decker’s and Yang’s new jobs on Monday afternoon. In December, Decker had been promoted to executive vice president and head of the Internet company’s most prominent business — its Advertiser and Publisher Group — fueling speculation that she would become the next chief executive when Semel stepped down.

In comments that were part of the announcement, Semel called Decker “one of the most talented executives in the industry,” adding, “Sue has played a broad and important role in driving our strategy over the years, and has shown even greater skills and leadership with the success she’s had in taking on more operating responsibilities.” He also credited her with being “an outstanding CFO” in her seven years holding that job.

Decker previously had spent 14 years with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, where her most recent post had been as the global director of equity research. Earlier, she was a media analyst.

Yang — who along with the 12-year-old company’s other co-founder, David Filo, holds the secondary title of “chief Yahoo!” — cited Decker’s ability to build successful teams, forge critical partnerships, and lead business initiatives. She will now lead Yahoo’s business operations, including the Advertiser and Publisher Group along with the Yahoo Network, Connected Life, and the company’s international operations.

Last month, Yahoo replaced Decker’s empty finance chief slot with investment banker Blake Jorgensen. He co-founded investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners Group.