Yahoo expected to name Carol Bartz as new CEO

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UPDATED 2:30 P.M.: It’s official: Carol Bartz is Yahoo’s new CEO. Read the updated story here.


Yahoo is close to naming Silicon Valley software veteran Carol A. Bartz as its new CEO, according to people familiar with the matter. The company hopes to announce her hire after the stock market closes today.

Bartz, former chief executive of design-software-maker Autodesk, appears to have beaten a host of internal and outside candidates to land one of Silicon Valley’s most high-profile and challenging jobs. If the deal is finalized as expected, she will take over for Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, who will remain on the Sunnyvale, Calif., company’s board.

Yahoo and Autodesk declined to comment. The agreement was reported this morning by the Wall Street Journal and

The hire would cap a two-month search for Yang’s replacement. In Bartz, 60, Yahoo has found a seasoned executive from the software industry; from 1992 to 2006, she served as CEO of Autodesk, which makes design programs used by architects and engineers (she is currently executive chairwoman of the San Rafael, Calif., company). Her résumé also includes hard-core tech companies Sun Microsystems and Digital Equipment Corp.


But Yahoo will present different challenges: Its products are used not by design corporations, but by 500 million consumers across the globe. It employs twice as many people as Autodesk and has four times the market valuation. And it has faced heavy criticism from investors for a series of missteps over the past year, including rebuffing Microsoft’s acquisition offer, failing to reach a deal to sell its Web search business to the software giant and then having a search-advertising business with Google fall apart under antitrust scrutiny.

Plus, Bartz will have to please the thousands of advertisers who pitch their products and services through Yahoo and the Yahoo employees who are worried about whether the company can remain relevant.

Yahoo shares are trading down 2% near $12 at 11:40 a.m.

-- Jessica Guynn and Chris Gaither