Yahoo CEO Semel steps down, Yang takes over

The company names co-founder Jerry Yang to be CEO, as Terry Semel shifts to a role as nonexecutive chairman.

Yahoo Chief Executive Terry Semel is stepping down, and co-founder Jerry Yang will become the new chief executive, the company announced Monday. Semel will assume the position of nonexecutive chairman and serve as an adviser to the management team and board of directors. Sue Decker, former chief financial officer and head of the advertiser group, has been named president. Poll

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"This is the time for new executive leadership, with different skills and strengths, to step in and drive the company to realize its full potential--it is the right thing to do, and the right time is now," Semel said in a statement.

The company has been struggling to regain the leadership position it lost to Google in the search market. Yahoo also was late to counter Google's search advertising juggernaut, which has propelled Google's profits and stock price to record highs while Yahoo's have dropped.

A letter sent to Semel from Ed Kozel, on behalf of Yahoo's board of directors, is here. A letter written by Semel and sent to the board of directors is here.

Stay with CNET for more on this developing story.