guitar-playing Man in Black is saying farewell.

The Internet media company said Tuesday that Tim Koogle, the company's CEO from its pre-IPO days of 1995 until 2001, will step down from the company's board in May "in order to focus on other investment and business priorities."

Koogle, nicknamed "T.K.," led the company through the heady times of the Internet boom but gave up his posts as CEO and chairman two years ago in favor of Hollywood veteran Terry Semel.

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The departure of Koogle is merely part of the continuing saga of Yahoo!, which rose to wild success during the easy-money days of the Internet but has had to regroup under new management. The company's stock, which has risen substantially over the past year as Yahoo! has shown financial progress, added 46 cents Tuesday to close at $24.81.

Replacing Koogle on Yahoo!'s board will be Roy Bostock, chairman emeritus of BCom3 Group, the advertising agency giant now owned by


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"The Yahoo! story simply cannot be told without T.K.," said Semel in a statement. "He has our sincere thanks and great respect for the crucial role he played in not just building Yahoo! into a leading global Internet business, but also for helping shape the industry itself."