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Yahoo names software executive Carol Bartz as new CEO

Yahoo names software executive Carol Bartz as new CEO

SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo Inc. named Autodesk Inc. chairman Carol Bartz as CEO, but Wall Street questioned whether the software executive has the experience needed to turn around the Internet media company.

While Bartz is a Silicon Valley veteran with a reputation for being a tough but fair manager, shareholders of Yahoo had hoped for a chief executive with more deal-making credentials who could revive talks with Microsoft Corp.

Yahoo also said Tuesday that President Sue Decker, one of the candidates to succeed Jerry Yang as CEO, will resign after a transitional period. Other names that had been mentioned in the press as possible contenders include News Corp. chief operating officer Peter Chernin and Arun Sarin, ex-CEO of Vodafone Group Plc.

"I think the market may be a little bit disappointed that Yahoo's not going with someone who isn't a little bit more savvy when it comes to technology and media," said Todd Greenwald, an analyst at Signal Hill.

Shares of Yahoo fell 3.6 per cent after news of Bartz's hire was reported on the Wall Street Journal's website, but the stock recovered to end the day down just one per cent at $12.10 as analysts said the end of the two-month CEO search could help bring some stability to the company.

Yang, who co-founded Yahoo, agreed in November to step down as CEO, capping a tumultuous year in which he angered many shareholders by rejecting a $47.5 billion US takeover bid from Microsoft only to see an alternative web search advertising partnership with Google Inc fall apart under U.S. antitrust scrutiny.

Yahoo has struggled to maintain its hold on the Internet search advertising market against Google, and suffered a dizzying stock slide after rejecting Microsoft's bid.

Bartz, 60, was chairman, president and CEO of software company Autodesk for 14 years until she stepped down in April 2006. Under her tenure, Autodesk's revenues rose to more than $1.5 billion US from less than $300 million US, and its share price increased nearly ten-fold, Yahoo said.

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