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Yahoo offers Carol Bartz CEO post

Former Autodesk CEO plans to respond "quickly," according to a source familiar with the talks.

Update at 11:21 a.m. PST with more information on Yahoo's challenges over the past year.

Yahoo has offered the chief executive post to former Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz and she intends to respond to the offer "quickly," said a source familiar with the talks.

Carol Bartz

Bartz, should she accept the post, would take over the role held by Yahoo's co-founder and embattled CEO Jerry Yang, who came under fire after failed buyout negotiations with Microsoft.

Although Yahoo has not received word that Bartz has accepted the post, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that she will take the position.

A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment on Bartz. An Autodesk spokeswoman also declined to comment.

Bartz is a well known, respected executive within Silicon Valley, who led the drafting and design software maker Autodesk for 14 years, before announcing in early 2006 that she would step down as CEO, as part of a planned transition of the company.

During Bartz's tenure, Autodesk largely outperformed the broader markets and particularly gained ground in mid-2003 to late 2004.

On Tuesday, Yahoo shares fell about 2 percent to $11.94 in mid-morning trading, despite reports of Bartz's impending appointment.

Bartz comes to a company that has been embattled over the past year.

Early last year, Microsoft launched an unsolicited bid to buy the company, later walking away after a $33-a-share offer was rejected by Yahoo. The search pioneer was also the target of a proxy fight by shareholder activist Carl Icahn, who eventually joined Yahoo's board as part of a settlement with the company. And as the year came to a close, Yahoo's hope of ramping up its revenue with an advertising search partnership with Google fell by the wayside. The search giant walked away from the deal when the U.S. Department of Justice notified the companies it would challenge such an arrangement under antitrust grounds.

Shortly after the Google deal collapsed, Yang announced he would step down as CEO as soon as a replacement was found.

In addition to Bartz, other strong contenders the company had considered included Yahoo President Sue Decker, as well as former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin.