Jerry Yang's goodbye letter to YahooHow untidy was Jerry Yang's exit from the CEO seat at Yahoo? Here's a clue: Tech blog AllThingsD obtained a copy of Yang's all-hands memo before the PR team had sent it to the staff. It must be genuine, since, like the rest of Yang's memos, it completely lacks capitalization. The founders of Internet companies are too busy, it seems, to reach for the shift key. What Yang does not explain: Why, when he took over as CEO last year, he took pains to say this was not a temporary job. His excuse seems to amount to this: The changes he has made at Yahoo are so amazing, so transformative, that it is a "significantly different company" today which requires someone who can "manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point." Translation: Jerry Yang was the right man to be Yahoo's CEO, until he wasn't. The memo:
To: all yahoos Fr: Jerry Subject: update yahoos - i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!. roy bostock, our chairman of the board, is leading the effort to identify and assess potential candidates for consideration by the full board. the board will be evaluating and considering both internal and external candidates and has retained heidrick and struggles to help in this effort. i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board. last june, i accepted the board’s request that i assume the ceo role to restructure and reposition the company as a whole in order to more effectively meet the fast-changing needs of both users and partners. since taking on the ceo role, i have had an ongoing dialogue with the board about succession timing. thanks in large measure to your tireless efforts, we have created a more open, competitive yahoo! and we believe the time is now right to transition to a new ceo who can take the company to the next level. despite the external environment we face, the fact remains that yahoo! is now a significantly different company that is stronger in many ways than it was just 18 months ago. this only makes it all the more essential that we manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point as effectively as possible. i strongly believe that having transformed our platform and better aligned costs and revenues, we have a unique window for the right ceo to take ownership over the next wave of mission-critical decisions facing the company. all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential. thank you, jerry