Yahoo Taps PayPal President as Its New Chief
Yahoo has appointed PayPal President Scott Thompson to be its CEO, filling the role vacated by Carol Bartz, who was fired from Yahoo in September.
Thompson's first day will be Jan. 9, according to Yahoo's announcement on Wednesday. He will also serve as a member of the company's board of directors.
Bartz's ouster from Yahoo last fall and the absence of an immediate successor had triggered speculation that a buyout was imminent. Yahoo was not short of offers, with both Google and Microsoft making overtures to the troubled company alongside private equity firms.
Thompson's hiring may be a sign that Yahoo is not currently considering a buyout, although it is in negotiations to divest some of its Asian assets.
"Scott's primary focus will be on the core business, and as CEO and director, he will work closely with the Board as we continue the strategic review process to identify the best approaches for the Company and its shareholders," said Roy Bostock, chairman of Yahoo's board, in a prepared statement. "As part of this process, Yahoo! is considering a wide range of opportunities for the Company's business, as well as specific investments or dispositions of assets."
In a conference call on Wednesday, Bostock emphasized that Yahoo will remain public. "We are a public company, with roughly a $20 billion market cap. We don't see that changing right now," CNN quotes him as saying.
Thompson was not among many analysts' picks for Yahoo CEO. In an interview with AllThingsD, he admits to a lack of search advertising experience, but said, "I readily admit what I don't know, and am ready to learn and rely on Yahoo's great team."
Thompson's previous roles include that of CIO of Barclays Global Investors, executive vice president of technology solutions at the Visa-owned Inovant, and senior vice president and CTO at PayPal prior to being named president of that company.
"Scott brings to Yahoo! a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth," Bostock said in his statement. "His deep understanding of online businesses combined with his team building and operational capabilities will restore the energy, focus, and momentum necessary to grow the core business and deliver increased value for our shareholders."