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Yahoo Shakeup Lands Tufts Grad on Top

Yahoo Shakeup Lands Tufts Grad on TopTufts graduate Susan Decker was recently named president of Internet search engine giant Yahoo.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [06.25.07] Tufts graduate Susan Decker has been tapped to take over as president of the Internet search engine giant Yahoo after a major top-level shakeup. A seven-year veteran of the company, Decker has steadily moved through the ranks. She most recently served as chief financial officer.

As president of Yahoo, Decker will work closely with the company’s co-founder, Jerry Yang, who also stepped into a new role, replacing Terry Semel as the company’s CEO. The pair will face some difficult challenges, according to the New York Times.

“The decision follows 18 months of turmoil for Yahoo, as the company disappointed both Wall Street and many in its own ranks," the Times reported. “One of the original Internet success stories, it found itself unable to compete effectively against Google, and faced growing pressure from a crop of young rivals like MySpace and Facebook.”

Industry experts, however, are hopeful. "We believe the recent changes at Yahoo are aimed in the right direction," RBC Capital Markets analyst Jordan Rohan wrote in a note according to the Associated Press.

Decker, a 1984 alumna who studied computer science at the School of Engineering and economics at the School of Arts and Sciences while at Tufts, said in a statement that she is excited to take on her new role.

"It is an incredibly important time for Yahoo, and I am thrilled to be partnering with Jerry to execute on our strategic vision,”she said. “We have a terrific opportunity to build upon the benefits that we are already realizing from the recent reorganization around our core customers: hundreds of millions of users, hundreds of thousands of advertisers, and tens of thousands of publishers all over the world.”

Decker currently serves on the board of directors for Berkshire Hathaway, Intel Corporation and Costco Wholesale. With a strong reputation in the corporate world, many believe that Decker is the right executive or the job.

“Ever since Decker arrived at Yahoo at the beginning of the dot-com bust, her star has risen within the rarefied realms of corporate America,”the San Jose Mercury News reported. “To Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, she's a corporate star.”

Analysts and others who know Decker say she will continue to shine bright.

"She has a great business brain, and the best companies in the world want her counsel," Rob Solomon, a former Yahoo executive who now runs travel search engine SideStep, told the San Jose Mercury News.

Former Yahoo executive Ellen Siminoff told the Los Angeles Times, "Everyone's writing stories about how Yahoo isn't doing anything right. If she does a few things right, the comparisons will be great.”


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