Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) this morning confirmed that it has appointed a new CEO, Scott Thompson, formerly the president of eBay’s payment division, PayPal. His appointment comes four months after Carol Bartz was fired from the job.
Thompson will take up the reigns officially on January 9. Tim Morse, who had been standing in as interim CEO, will return to his previous role as CFO. Thompson will also join Yahoo’s board of directors.
Yahoo announced the appointment officially just moments ago.
As we pointed out earlier today when we wrote about the possibility of the appointment, Thompson’s background is in e-commerce, both at PayPal and before that Visa, so this appointment could signal something of a strategic change — or at least an attempt at one — at Yahoo.
PayPal under Thompson was one of the bright growth areas at eBay (NSDQ: EBAY). It currently brings in over $4 billion in revenue and supports eight million merchants and 104 million active users in 190 countries. More recently it has been focusing on mobile payments. All areas where Yahoo could potentially also expand as it looks for new revenue streams amid increasing competition in its older businesses based around advertising.
The company currently says it has some 700 million users across its different properties, but it has also weathered some hard knocks in the last year. Yahoo’s board will have also been looking for someone who could re-energize existing staff, which have seen not only a high-profile, colorful CEO departure but many other management and strategic changes.
The company is currently undergoing a strategic review process, and is reportedly also in negotiations with both Softbank and Alibaba over the ownership of their JV assets, respectively in Japan and China. Some believe that Alibaba may even try out buy Yahoo altogether, hiring U.S. lobbyists to facilitate the process.