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Report: Yahoo CEO search narrowing

Yahoo is close to narrowing the field of candidates down to a few, with former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin among the mix, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo's search for a new CEO is narrowing, with former Vodafone Group chief Arun Sarin reportedly on the list, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo has authorized reference checks for a few candidates in order to narrow the field even further so the informal search committee can make a recommendation to the board of directors, according to the report.

And while the CEO selection process has moved at a rapid clip since co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang announced in mid-November he would step down as soon as a replacement is found, the process could very well spill into the New Year, the Journal noted.

Sarin, 54, retired from Vodafone Group in May, after serving approximately five years as CEO of the European telecommunications giant. While at Vodafone, Sarin was credited with realigning the company's focus on emerging markets, such as India.

And earlier this year, Sarin delivered a keynote speech at CTIA, where he touted the increasingly popular notion of the mobile Internet.

And prior to his role as Vodafone CEO, Sarin had previously served a brief stint of less than one year as CEO of InfoSpace in 2000 to 2001. He resigned due to the rigors of commuting between InfoSpace's offices in Washington state and his family's home in the Bay Area, the company said at the time.

Sarin apparently has a number of the qualities that Yahoo is seeking in a CEO.

Back in mid-November, one source familiar with Yahoo's thinking noted the company sought:

Someone with prior CEO experience who's got both operational and strategic skills, someone experienced in technology, and somebody energetic and young--which apparently means in his or her 40s or 50s.

The company expects to come up with a pool of about a dozen candidates and settle on one within six months, though there's no hard deadline.

For Yahoo, which has seen its search market share heavily eroded over the years by Google and faces investor wrath for failing to seal a buyout deal with Microsoft at $33 a share, this CEO search could very well be one of its most important search projects to date.