Yahoo has named PayPal President Scott Thompson as its new chief executive, Yahoo has confirmed.
The move to name Thompson the new CEO comes roughly four months after Yahoo booted previous chief executive Carol Bartz after two and a half years on the job due to the company's poor performance and the board's decision to change top management in hopes of a turnaround. Yahoo CFO Tim Morse was named interim CEO while the company sought a replacement for Bartz. Morse will return to his duties as CFO.
Thompson, while considered a dark horse, was named as the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Web company's new chief executive Wednesday morning.
"Scott brings to Yahoo a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo," said Roy Bostock , Chairman of the Yahoo Board, said in a statement. "His deep understanding of online businesses combined with his team building and operational capabilities will restore the energy, focus, and momentum necessary to grow the core business and deliver increased value for our shareholders. The search committee and the entire Board concluded that he is the right leader to return the core business to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation."
Thompson has served as president of PayPal, the eBay-owned online payment company, for three years and has been with the company since February 2005, according to his bio on the eBay executive leadership page. In that role, Thompson was charged with growing PayPal as a global leader in online payments. Prior to taking on the role of president, Thompson served as PayPal senior vice president and chief technology officer.
Before PayPal, Thompson held posts at Visa subsidiary Inovant as executive vice president of technology solutions; Barclays Global Investors, where he held the CIO spot and implemented a new technology platform and global infrastructure; and at consulting firm Coopers and Lybrand.
Thompson holds a Bachelor's degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College and services on the Board of Directors for F5 Networks and Zuora Inc.
"Yahoo is an industry icon and I am very excited about the prospect of working with one of the great teams in the online world to deliver Yahoo's next era of success," Thompson said in a statement. "Yahoo has a rich history and a solid foundation to build on, and its continued user engagement is one of the many reasons for my enthusiasm. With the ultimate goal of delivering the value our shareholders expect, my immediate focus will be on getting to know the entire team and hearing more from all Yahoos, working closely with the engineers and product teams, and diving deeply into our products and services to learn more about what our more than 700 million users find most engaging and useful.
"I will also be working directly with our region leaders and sales teams globally to get a clearer understanding of the needs of our advertisers and publishers. Clearly, speed is important but we will attack both the opportunity ahead and the competitive challenges with an appropriate balance of urgency and thoughtfulness. I cannot wait to get started."
Thompson's appointment comes during a tumultuous time for Yahoo. The company has been said to be attracting potential buyers since Bartz's firing.
Microsoft, which tried to buy Yahoo in 2008 for a whopping $47.5 billion before calling it quits, has also continually expressed interest in scooping up the once-pioneering portal company. Along with Microsoft, Google has also reportedly shown interested in a Yahoo deal.