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Culture

Say what? Yang's right as Yahoo's CTO, Semel says

There's no small irony in Terry Semel's suggestion last week that Jerry Yang "think hard about being our CTO."

When word came Monday that Jerry Yang was replacing the embattled Terry Semel as CEO of Yahoo, we couldn't help flashing back all the way to last week to the company's annual shareholders meeting.

Jerry Yang Yahoo

It couldn't have been a happy occasion for Semel, who was on the spot to defend Yahoo's performance, its executive pay packages (that is, his own very generous compensation), the unexpected departure of Chief Technology Officer Farzad Nazem, and on and on.

On that date, Yang was serving as the interim CTO, so one shareholder asked whether the Yahoo co-founder--long known as Chief Yahoo, along with co-founder David Filo--should be appointed to that post permanently.

The now ironic reply from Semel, just six days before Yang took his job in the corner office: "If Jerry would think hard about being our CTO, I would be very flattered and honored."

Funny how things work out sometimes.