Jerry Yang the Taiwanese-born American internet mogul is most famed as the founder of the Yahoo! navigational guide and the co-founder and the former Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo! Inc. He is listed in the “25 Most Influential men on the Web” and the 140th on Forbes “400 Richest Americans” list.
Yang was born on 6th November 1968 in Taipei, Taiwan. He moved to the U.S with his family at the age of 10. Yang did not know how to speak the English language however he became fluent in just three years. He attended the Sierramont Middle School and Piedmont Hills High School. He graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor and master degree in electrical engineering. During his time in Stanford he created a website with David Filo, called “Jerry and Dave’s Guide to the World Wide Web” that was later renamed ‘Yahoo!’ The website’s immense popularity encouraged Yang and Filo co-found Yahoo! Inc. in 1995. Yahoo! began as a web portal; a directory that provided a wide variety of products and services. The website is now one of the leading most trafficked websites in the internet.
In 1999, at the MIT Technology Review TR100 Yang was named one of the top 100 innovators in the world, under the age of 35. He was CEO of the company from 2007 till 2009 though throughout this time he was very much criticized by several investors as the stock prices and revenues did not rise. The situation worsened when he refused Microsoft’s offer of buying Yahoo! for 47 billion dollars. Consequently Yang was replaced as CEO by Carol Bartz with Yang assuming his previous role of ‘Chief Yahoo’ and member of Board of Directors. In 2012 it was announced that he would leave the company along with all his responsibilities.
By 2008 the company’s shares had dropped to only 14 dollars per share. BusinessWeek listed Yang as the ‘Worst Managers of 2008’. At the time of Yang’s resignation from the board Yahoo! market capitalization was only 20 billion dollars. Despite the company’s bleak situation, Yang did play a key role in managing and developing the company’s business policies, international ventures and improving its vision. His business career and contribution to the internet media industry proves his talent as a business magnate. Presently Yang is member of the board of Cisco, Alibaba, the Asian Pacific Fund and Yahoo! Japan. He also sits on the Stanford University Board of Trustees.
Yang got married to Akiko Yamazaki whom he met at Stanford. She is a graduate in Industrial engineering and director at the Wildlife Conservation Network. Yang is also a philanthropist; he donated 75 million dollars to his alma mater, Stanford University which was utilized in building the ‘Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building’. With a net worth of 1.2 billion dollars, Yang is one of the richest people in the U.S. With his deep insight into the world of business, Yang has achieved a lot at a young age.