Did Yang step down by his own choice or was he pushed? That’s the story yet to be fully told.
The timing of the announcement will of course lead to speculation, as it comes two weeks after Yahoo named Scott Thompson, a former PayPal executive, as CEO. While Thompson pledges a return to profitability, Yang has been seen by many investors as letting his personal vision and attachment to the company stall necessary restructuring moves. As such, news of his resignation sent shares upward.
In addition to departing Yahoo’s board, Yang surrenders a similar post at Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group, setting the stage that those assets may be sold. Yang’s exit could open the door for a broader restructuring of the parent company and attract otherwise gun-shy investors.