Yahoo!’s maturation?

Yahoo!’s announcement that Jerry Yang will be stepping down could do away with its relaxed corporate culture.

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By  Gareth van Zyl Published  November 25, 2008

With Yahoo!’s long time figurehead Jerry Yang stepping down as Yahoo CEO, Yahoo!’s more ‘relaxed’ corporate culture could be under threat.

It’s well known that Jerry Yang has played a big part in maintaining a ‘start-up’ approach to Yahoo!’s work environment, with Yahoo! employees, for instance, not being fixed to working in cubicles and Yahoo! employees having leeway regarding their work outfits. With Yang soon to be an ex-Yahoo! CEO, the web-giant’s relaxed corporate culture could disappear as well.

One could argue that Yang’s exit from Yahoo! began when he rejected an offer of US $33 a share from Microsoft. Yang rejected the May 2008 Microsoft offer because he believed that Microsoft’s $46 billion bid for Yahoo was too low, but investors criticised Yang for refusing the offer. Yang might have taken sentimental reasons into account when making this decision, as he started Yahoo! from just about nothing.

Yang was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1968 and he moved with his mother and brother to San Jose, California when Yang was ten. Yang’s father died when Yang was two but Yang would eventually go on to receive his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

While he studied at Stanford University in April 1994, he co-created (with David Filo) an Internet website consisting of a directory of other websites called "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web". The site was renamed "Yahoo!".

Yahoo! started off as a web portal with a web directory providing an extensive range of products and services for online activities, and today Yahoo! is a leading internet brand that has one of the most trafficked networks on the internet.

Yahoo! has managed to largely escape being ‘swallowed up’ by other organisations, and Yahoo! has also diversified itself into various branches, such as Yahoo! Image, Yahoo! Video, Yahoo! Local, Yahoo! News, and Yahoo! Shopping Search. Yahoo! has even acquired a number of online businesses such as web hosting service Geo Cities and the FoxyTunes Mozilla Firefox browser extension.

But the website that started as “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” is now under pressure from investors to increase its share price and Yahoo! announced that Yang will step down as CEO as soon a replacement is named. Yang need not be miserable though – he walks away with a net worth of $2.3 billion. But his soon-to-be ex-employees might not be wearing jeans and T-Shirts to work in future anymore.

3523 days ago
Michael Murdock

Suits for employees of Yahoo would be like taking water out of a fish tank. It makes no sense. Companies like Yahoo thrive on creativity. However, there does need to be some changes in the management, the board, and the vision/direction of the company. Should Yahoo want to get started on this before the end of the year, all they need to do is get on the phone and call me. You however can go to and read a bit about me and see an overview presentation of my proposal to the Board and Management of my ideas for getting Yahoo back from the brink of disaster. Michael Murdock, CEO

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