Yahoo Inc. named Terry S. Semel, former co-CEO of Warner Bros., as its new CEO. Semel replaces Tim Koogle, who will remain vice chairman and serve on Yahoo's board of directors.
The appointment is seen as another move towards forming Yahoo into a major media giant, including speculations on merging with an offline firm. “He helped build one of the world's largest and most successful media enterprises and has established and operated diverse global businesses at large scale. His background positions help Yahoo innovate for future growth,” said Jerry Yanger, Yahoo's co-founder.
At Warner Bros., Semel and his co-CEO, Robert Daly, built Warner Bros. from a $1 billion revenue company to nearly $11 billion in revenues from diverse businesses worldwide. Before joining Warner Bros., Semel was president of Walt Disney's' Theatrical Distribution division and president of CBS's Theatrical Distribution division.
Semel faces major challenges, particularly significantly lower ad spending on the portal's site. Yahoo's first quarter net revenues dropped from over $230 million in 2001 to about $180 million in 2000.
However, Yahoo shares jumped 22 percent earlier this month on a “buy” rating from Lehman Brothers analyst Holly Becker. Shares closed near 17 cents a share on April 17.