Yahoo appoints Carol Bartz as new CEO

After something of a turbulent 2008 that included a messy acquisition standoff with Microsoft Corp., plunging share values, and the subsequent loss of chief executive Jerry Yang, online giant Yahoo Inc. is hoping the appointment of a new CEO will mark a brave new dawn.

More pointedly, the long-standing Internet pioneer has this week officially handed the reins to Carol Bartz (60), who steps into Yang’s shoes after making her name running as CEO of well-established software maker Autodesk.

Prior to her shift to Yahoo, Ms Bartz headed the San Rafael-based computer-aided design (CAD) company for a total of 14 years, successfully raising Autodesk’s profile while other notable pre-Internet software outfits fell by the wayside or were absorbed by major technology players.

However, despite the clearly steadfast dedication and focus that her Autodesk tenure will bring to the new position, industry watchers at the Financial Times suggest Yahoo employees might be concerned as to her lack of Internet experience or knowledge of the advertising business.

Other potential worries include the likelihood of high-profile firings amongst Yahoo’s upper-tier executives, which is something Ms Bartz instigated upon taking her position and bringing in her own executive selections at Autodesk in 1994.

Speculation is also mounting regarding the future of Yahoo president Sue Decker, who was thought to be the leading candidate for an internal promotion to CEO but who would now appear to have been passed over.

Prior to making her mark with Autodesk, Ms Bartz also served with the likes of 3M, Digital Equipment Corp. and Sun Microsystems.

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