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Yahoo's New CEO

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Carol Bartz set to take the reins.

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Yahoo (YHOO) named Carol Bartz chief executive officer, ending a 2-month search to replace co-founder Jerry Yang, who agreed in November to step aside when a replacement was found.

Bartz, 60, previously served as CEO at Autodesk, a developer of design software used in engineering and architecture. She had expanded the company's revenue from $350 million in the early 1990s to about $1.5 billion when she left in 2006. She continues to serve as executive chairman of the San Rafael, California-based company.

Bartz also served as an executive at Sun Microsystems, and is currently a board member at Cisco (CSCO) and Intel (INTC).

Under Yang's leadership, Yahoo rejected a $47.5 billion bid from Microsoft (MSFT). The decision hammered Yahoo's stock price and raised questions about the company's future as it confronts Google (GOOG) in the increasingly lucrative Internet search advertising market.

Yang became Yahoo's CEO in 2007. He faced sharp criticism from Carl Icahn for rejecting Microsoft's takeover bid. Microsoft withdrew the offer last May.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bartz's appointment will underscore questions about Yahoo's future and may pave the way for renewed discussions with Microsoft.

"She's known as a tough and fair leader," Alan Weiner, an analyst at Gartner, told Reuters. "She's known for bringing people together and building a consensus. That's certainly something that Yahoo needs right now. They need that adult leader to bring order to the company."

Bartz graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1971 with a degree in computer science. She was a cheerleader, homecoming queen and worked her way through school as a cocktail waitress. At conferences, she was sometimes mistaken for an administrative assistant, the Associated Press reports.

It's doubtful that will be happening at Yahoo.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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