Jerry Yang still bleeds purple, but he announced Monday night that he'll no longer do so in the CEO cubicle.His agonizing 16-month tenure as CEO of Yahoo! ( YHOO) has been marked by intense shareholder upset over his rebuffing Microsoft's ( MSFT) offer to buy his company at triple its current valuation, as well as a continuous outflow of top talent. Yang is a good man and will always be associated with co-creating an Internet icon. Unfortunately, he will also now be inextricably linked to his turbulent tenure as CEO and the busted Microsoft deal. And now Yahoo! needs to find someone to take over the helm. It's a huge decision.
The Yang MonthsYang's two biggest weaknesses as a leader were people-picking and tough decision-making. He was instrumental in Terry Semel being selected as his predecessor, and Semel probably played a strong role in him getting the top job last year. Both picks, in retrospect, severely hamstrung the former high-flying company. Once in the CEO role, Yang promised 100 days to analyze the business and come to some important strategic decisions about the redirection of the business. That self-imposed deadline came and went with no action.