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More than an hour after the news broke that Carol Bartz was out as CEO of Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), the board finally has weighed in with details of how the company will operate during the search for a new CEO. (Although, honestly, why couldn’t they simply segue to another CEO right away?) The interim Yahoo will be led by CFO Tim Morse, now also the interim CEO. Some key execs, including Ross Levinsohn, EVP-Americas, will serve on a new Executive Leadership Council to support Morse and conduct “a comprehensive strategic review that the Board has initiated to position the Company for future growth.” That last charge will be read by many as a “should we stay or should we go” mission.
Members of the council include Morse, Levinsohn, Michael Callahan, EVP, General Counsel and Secretary; Blake Irving, EVP and Chief Product Officer; Rich Riley, SVP & MD, EMEA Region; and Rose Tsou, SVP, APAC Region. Yahoo co-founders David Filo and Jerry Yang remain as Chief Yahoos and will “provide counsel” to the council and Morse. The full press release is below:
Yahoo! Inc., the premier digital media company, today announced a leadership reorganization under which the Board of Directors has appointed Timothy Morse interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing Carol Bartz, who has been removed by the Board from her role as Chief Executive Officer.
The Board has also named key senior Yahoo! executives to a newly formed Executive Leadership Council tasked with supporting Morse in managing the Company’s day-to-day operations until a permanent chief executive is appointed, as well as supporting a comprehensive strategic review that the Board has initiated to position the Company for future growth.
Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Yahoo! Board, said, “The Board sees enormous growth opportunities on which Yahoo! can capitalize, and our primary objective is to leverage the Company’s leadership and current business assets and platforms to execute against these opportunities. We have talented teams and tremendous resources behind them and intend to return the Company to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation. We are committed to exploring and evaluating possibilities and opportunities that will put Yahoo! on a trajectory for growth and innovation and deliver value to shareholders.”
Bostock continued, “On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Carol for her service to Yahoo! during a critical time of transition in the Company’s history, and against a very challenging macro-economic backdrop. I would also like to express the Board’s appreciation to Tim and thank him for accepting this important role. We have great confidence in his abilities and in those of the other executives who have been named to the Executive Leadership Council.”
In addition to Morse, who will also continue in his role as Chief Financial Officer of Yahoo!, the Executive Leadership Council will consist of Michael Callahan, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary; Blake Irving, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer; Ross Levinsohn, Executive Vice President, Americas; Rich Riley, Senior Vice President & MD, EMEA Region; and Rose Tsou, Senior Vice President, APAC Region. The Co-founders of Yahoo!, David Filo and Jerry Yang, will each continue as Chief Yahoo and will provide counsel to Tim and the Executive Leadership Council.
“It is an honor to be selected for this role and lead the Company with this world-class team of executives. I look forward to working with the Executive Leadership Council and the talented employees of Yahoo!, and to partnering with the Board to invest in the organization and continue to drive its ongoing growth plans,” said Tim Morse, Interim Chief Executive Officer.
The Board is commencing a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer and expects to engage the services of a nationally recognized executive search firm to help it identify candidates for the position as expeditiously as possible.