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Yahoo Names Ex-GE Veteran “Tim Morse” As New CFO

Yahoo Names Ex-GE Veteran “Tim Morse” As New CFO

Yahoo! Inc., the leading second most U.S. Internet search engine, on Thursday named “Tim Morse,” a 15-year veteran of General Electric, and currently Altera Corp.'s chief financial officer as its finance chief, replacing the recently departed Blake Jorgensen, the latest move by the Internet company to rebuild itself in the image of its new chief executive.

Morse, who has worked at General Electric Co for 15 years, and was currently senior vice president and chief financial officer at Altera Corp., the Silicon Valley chip company.

Morse will start work at Yahoo on June 17 and take the CFO role on July 1, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said today in a statement. Morse will be reporting to CEO Carol Bartz, who has been reshuffling management and streamlining operations since she took over the helm of the company in January.

Morse, 40, will succeed Blake Jorgensen, who plans to join Levi Strauss & Co. as its finance chief on July 1.

“Tim has a proven ability to translate strategy into structure, process, and execution, and I am delighted that he will be joining my leadership team to help drive Yahoo!'s growth,” Bartz said.

Yahoo turned to Morse because of his ability to manipulate complex organizations, Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz said. He is perhaps the most high-profile hire to date for Bartz; Yahoo announced Jorgensen's departure as part of a management shakeup in February, about a month after Bartz took over as CEO but has kept him on the job while she searched for his replacement. She has closed businesses, such as Yahoo's travel service FareChase and the storage site Briefcase.

Bernstein Research analyst Jeffrey Lindsay said the appointment of Morse suggested that Bartz wanted someone to focus on “no-frills financial management,” run a tight ship and get into the nuts and bolts of reducing operating expenses.

“The difference was, I think, Blake Jorgensen had come from the investment banking side. He was much more of the strategy and the big picture,” said Lindsay.

“This guy is going to bring a whole bunch of big mature company processes and procedures with him, and would be able to sort a lot of stuff out at Yahoo that has been a bit loose and lackadaisical if you will,” he said.

Morse, will receive an annual salary of $500,000, subject to annual review, and a sign-on bonus of $500,000. He has a target bonus of 100 percent of his base salary, of which 70 percent will be based on company performance and 30 percent on individual performance, Yahoo said in a regulatory filing.

Altera, based in San Jose, California, specializes in programmable chips for communications, industrial, and consumer applications, said a search for Morse's replacement is under way -- appointed James Callas, currently vice president of finance and corporate controller, as acting CFO.

Prior to joining Altera, Morse served as finance chief at General Electric Plastics during his 15-year career at the company. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston College.

Bartz is slowly filling out her roster of lieutenants, recently hired chief marketing officer Elisa Steele into the fold in February amid a significant reorganization. Yahoo is still searching for a head of international operations after hiring Jeff Russakow in April as the head of a new customer advocacy group created by Bartz.

Shares of Yahoo edged higher to $16.26 in extended trading, from their close of $16.19.