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A Reason To Say 'Yahoo!'

A Reason To Say 'Yahoo!'Tufts graduate Susan Decker, CFO at Yahoo! since 2000, has assumed a new role at the search engine giant, signaling that she may be headed for the company’s corner office.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [12.18.06] As the Internet continues to evolve, so do its major players. In a recent top-level shuffle at search engine giant Yahoo!, the company’s chief financial officer, 1984 Tufts graduate Susan Decker, was promoted to a new role overseeing online advertising—an area that many experts see as key to survival in an increasingly competitive business.

"An expert on far more than financials, Sue has been a terrific contributor to our business strategy," CEO Terry Semel wrote on his Yahoo! blog. "She's one of the best executives around and the ideal person to fill this critical new role."

In her new role, Decker will lead the newly created Advertiser & Publisher group, along with the Marketplaces group. The company is reorganizing in order to better compete with companies like Google and MySpace—particularly in the area of online advertising, which Decker will now oversee.

"Sue Decker is absolutely brilliant," former Yahoo! senior vice president Rob Solomon told the San Jose Mercury News. "I think it's wonderful to have her brain power thinking about more than finances."

As CFO of Yahoo! since 2000, she has ushered the company through an initial public offering, expanded the emphasis on search and most recently facilitated an advertising partnership between Yahoo! and eBay.

Analysts say that the promotion indicates Decker may be in line to lead the company when Semel is ready to retire.

"She has done a great job as CFO," Scott Kessler, an equity analyst at Standard & Poor's, told Bloomberg News. "A lot of people appreciate her command of the finances and her accessibility."

According to the Mercury News, the motorcycle-owning Decker —who double-majored in economics and computer science at Tufts and received an MBA from Harvard —is known for her candor and down-to-earth attitude.

"People trust her," former Yahoo! marketing executive Lisa Nash told the Mercury News. "They trust her when times are good, and they trust her when times are bad."

Aside from her role at Yahoo!, she sits on the boards of directors for Intel and Costco and previously served on the board of Pixar Studios. She is also a member of The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy and Research. Previously, Decker was global director of equity research at the investment firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

“She is extremely talented," former Yahoo! staffer Ashwin Navin, now COO of BitTorrent, told Red Herring. "She has the perfect background to run an Internet company."

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