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Yang quits as Yahoo boss suddenly: 'The time has come,' he says

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 17, 2012 | 3 min read

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned from its board , cutting all ties with the Internet company he founded about 17 years ago.

Jerry Yang: The time has come...

The company is in the midst of a strategic review , debating whether to get rid of key Asian assets or bring in new private-equity backers, reported the Wall Street Journal. Yang had let it be known he wanted Yahoo to stay independent.

Some shareholders who felt the company had not done as well as it might had called for Yang to go. Yang said in a statement, "The time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo."

A Yahoo spokeswoman said she had no information on whether he would be replaced.

The departure was sudden. Yang didn't tell all his fellow directors much before Yahoo announced his leaving. Recent board conference calls contained no hint of his departure, an insider told the WSJ.

The source said, "It's probably the right thing to do. He has been badgered so much .''

Two weeks ago, Yahoo named PayPal president Scott Thompson as chief executive, filling the slot that Carol Bartz had been removed from four months earlier.

Jerry Yang , 43, who also held the job title "Chief Yahoo" is also a big shareholder with a 3.6% stake. He has also resigned from the boards of Yahoo Japan and the Chinese Alibaba Group in which Yahoo has a big stake.

Shares of Yahoo jumped on the news. The stock was up 54 cents to $15.97 in after-hours trading.

Yang and David Filo created Yahoo in 1994 when they were graduate students at Stanford University.

Yahoo still has many popular web destinations, including its Yahoo.com home page and sports, news and entertainment-content sites. But it has not kept pace with sites such as Facebook and Google.

Yahoo's 2011 share of spending on graphical and video ads in the U.S. was 13.1% - down 14.4% from the previous year.

In 2005, Yahoo handed its Chinese operations over to Alibaba, buying a 40% stake in the Chinese firm for $1 billion. That stake is now worth $14 billion.

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