"Why did Jerry Yang take the CEO role at Yahoo?"
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CNET News Video
CNET News Video
Why did Jerry Yang take the CEO role at Yahoo?
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>> You founded Yahoo 15 years ago. You -- you're, you
know, for the first eight to nine, ten years, really the
standard bearer for what it meant to be the Internet.
You know, you made history, you made a ton of dough.
More than -- well, a lot of money. You know, then you
had this sort of crisis in '06 and you made a decision
to come back as a CEO, why? And why are you CEO now?
Like, why -- why do that to yourself?
>> Well --
>> And are you the right guy?
>> I figured there was a question in there somewhere.
Look, I said this pretty openly. First, it was '07 when
I stepped back in, and there's debate about whether I
was ever CEO. I think David and I were for an instant
shared a CEO title in '95. So obviously, between
starting the company until I was CEO last year, I was
not. And I felt that clearly I was part of the company
and contributed to it in a way that I felt very
comfortable. I did not, as I said back last summer, I
did not make the decision of being CEO lightly. And in
retrospect, obviously having the company gone through
what its gone through, clearly I don't take my position
very lightly. It's a very serious obligation and
responsibility. I wanted to make the change at Yahoo
that I believed that I could make. And it's one of
those things where if you are able to sort of look at
what's happening inside Yahoo, and hopefully a lot of
you have been in Yahoo -- [Inaudible] you've been to
Yahoo -- yes, there's been a lot of change. There's
been a lot of people coming and leaving. But the plans
in which we were trying to execute against from that
last summer is being done in a way that I'm extremely
proud of, in a sense that we're rewiring Yahoo, we're
creating Yahoo into a platform company. That was the
dream that I felt that I could achieve by being CEO.
And that is still the dream today. And I think that's
somewhat lost underneath sort of all the external
issues. But I feel that's the core -- core
identification of what we wanted to accomplish as a
company, become a better platform company on the
consumer's side, and of course becoming a better company
on the advertising side as a platform company. I felt
like we had the talent to do it, I felt like we had the
market window to do it, and I feel that we have
accomplished a lot of those things. Hopefully we'll get
to talk about those things. But to me, that was the
moment of time that I really wanted to make that change.
And that's something that we've been working hard on,
and making some progress against. Six months into this
thing we had the external events with Microsoft, now we
have this economy. Now I don't regret any minute of
what happened, even though it's not the most fun thing
to go through. I think it's just -- and perhaps I can
only talk about it because I've been there the whole
time. You know, it's a part of me. And some people say
that's great, and some people say, well, you're just too
close to it. I feel like I only know how to operate the
way I know by really caring and being passionate about
what I do. And I'm passionate about Yahoo, I'm
passionate about its people, I'm passionate about the
mission we've established. And I'm willing to go
through walls to do it. And -- and I just feel that's
-- that's -- that's the reason I'm there.
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