13 Jan UW-Madison alum Carol Bartz to head Yahoo
Madison, Wis. – Chalk up another chief executive spot in a major corporation for graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Yahoo has confirmed a report in the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch that said the embattled online services company has replaced controversial CEO Jerry Yang with Carol Bartz, who recently has been serving as executive chair of Autodesk.
Bartz has an honors degree in computer science from UW-Madison. Her appointment ends a two-month search to replace CEO and founder Jerry Yang.
Yang, who last year angered Yahoo shareholders by resisting a takeover bid by rival Microsoft, had indicated that he would step down when a successor was found.
Bartz is a former president and CEO of Autodesk, a maker of digital modeling software, and a former executive with Sun Microsystems. Bartz also sits on the board of Cisco with Yang and on the Intel board with Yahoo president Sue Decker.
Decker, who also was considered for the Yahoo CEO post, will leave the company.
In a statement on the companty website, Bartz called Yahoo! a powerful global brand with a great collection of assets, strong technology, and enormously talented employees, but did not spell out her plans to reverse the company’s fortunes or improve shareholder value. Yahoo has suffered declining profits for several quarters, and its share price has fallen as well. Its inability to sell off even a piece of its business, including its search engine, has left shareholders frustrated and Microsoft, which had offered as much at $47.5 billion for Yahoo, is still open to a partnership, according to CEO Steve Ballmer.
“The company has accomplished a great deal in its relatively short history and I look forward to working together to take it to the next level,” Bartz stated. “There is no denying that Yahoo! has faced enormous challenges over the last year, but I believe there is now an extraordinary opportunity to create value for our shareholders and new possibilities for our customers, partners, and employees.
“We will seize that opportunity.”
In addition to her degree from UW-Madison, Bartz has an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from William Woods University.
Bartz also has served on President Bush’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
A 1971 graduate of UW-Madison, she becomes the latest UW alumnus to lead a prominent corporation. A 2004 survey by Bloomberg Markets magazine showed that Wisconsin tied Harvard and outranked pretigious universities like Stanford, Princeton, and Yale in turning out chief executive officers.
UW-Madison’s Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship was honored recently when it was named the 2009 National Model MBA Entrepreneurship Program by the U.S. Association of Small Business Entrepreneurship.