Business, Finance & Economics

Scott Thompson to head up Yahoo Inc.


Founded in 1994, Yahoo has struggled in recent years to keep pace with online advertising market rivals like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.


Spencer Platt

Struggling Internet giant Yahoo Inc. has named Scott Thompson, president of online payments firm PayPal, as its new chief executive, the New York Times reported today.

Mr Thompson, 54, will on Jan. 9 become the US multinational’s fourth chief executive in less than five years, according to the Associated Press. He will replace Carol Bartz, who was dismissed as Yahoo head last September after failing to reverse the troubled company’s fortunes.

Its share price has refused to top $20 for the past three years, the Associated Press reports.

Paypal, the payments division of online auction and shopping website eBay Inc., has seen its userbase double since Mr Thompson took the helm three years ago, according to the BBC.

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Founded in 1994, Yahoo is currently undergoing a strategic review after failing to keep pace with online advertising market rivals like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc., the Associated Press reports. Besides its search engine, Yahoo’s main products include a free email service and the photo-sharing website Flickr.

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, Mr Thompson’s appointment indicates that Yahoo’s board is unlikely to sell the company. Its chairman, Roy Bostock, announced Wednesday that he expects Yahoo to remain publicly traded, according to Bloomberg, which also quoted Mr Thompson as stating that boosting revenue and pushing the company back to the forefront of innovation will be Yahoo’s priorities under his leadership.

Markets responded cooly to news of Mr Thompson’s appointment, however. Early New York trading saw shares in Yahoo fall 2.5% to $15.88, the BBC reported, while shares in eBay dropped by 4% after news of Mr Thompson’s departure from PayPal was announced.

Mr Thompson will have to confront a number of strategic issues when he joins the board of directors next Monday, including whether to sell off its prized stakes in Asian web companies.

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