And, probably, it is. Yang hasn’t exactly had a distinguished recent tenure at Yahoo. Chief among his missteps: Turning down an acquisition offer from Steve Ballmer that valued the company at $40 billion. Today it’s worth less than half of that.
But while I’m not arguing he should stay on the board, let’s not forget, Yang has added a lot of value. He founded the company to begin with for one. And he has long been a beloved down-to-earth figure to Yahoo’s lifer employees who love hanging out with him at URLs (the cafeteria on the Sunnyvale campus) and at Yahoo’s year end parties. And he was an important mediator during the blow-ups between former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and Alibaba’s Jack Ma, helping to protect what was one of Yahoo’s most valuable assets at a pivotal moment for the company.
Sure, Yang was a failure as Yahoo’s CEO. But it was a classic case of a talented person being put in the wrong job. And who put him there? The board.
Yahoo has possibly the worst board in Silicon Valley. And it’s lead by Roy Bostock. I don’t know Bostock. Maybe he’s a nice guy. Maybe he’s the lone voice of reason on the board. But after years of epic-screw up after epic-screw up, shouldn’t he get shown the door at some point? Like, right now?