Yahoo! Inc. has been looking for a new chief executive for about a month and has apparently settled on one of the entertainment industry’s most respected names – Terry S. Semel. The company announced that its Board of Directors will appoint Semel, formerly Warner Bros. chairman and co-chief executive officer, as Yahoo!’s new chairman and chief executive officer, effective May 1, 2001.
“Terry is a strong leader with a distinguished track record, and he embodies all the characteristics that make him uniquely suited to be Yahoo!’s next chairman and CEO,” said Jerry Yang, Yahoo! co-founder. “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,” Yang added.
Semel and his partner, Robert Daly, helped build Warner Bros. into one of the world’s largest media and entertainment enterprises, reaching billions of consumers worldwide through its vast stable of properties. They are credited with building the company from a single revenue source generating less than $1 billion to nearly $11 billion total revenues from multiple, diverse businesses in 50 countries. Under their leadership, Warner Bros. achieved 18 consecutive years of record profits and revenues.
“Yahoo! is a company with incredible potential. Yahoo!’s management team has rapidly and successfully built an industry-leading global company with the world’s largest audience, a strong brand and a talented employee base, and I am proud to be leading the team that is going to enable Yahoo! to achieve its next level of growth,” said Semel. “The opportunities for combining traditional marketing and media with the interactivity of the Internet are extraordinary. I look forward to applying my background to help Yahoo! successfully leverage both and further strengthen its position as one of the world’s most preeminent global businesses. This is a unique opportunity and challenge that I embrace with great passion.”
Yahoo! also announced that Semel purchased one million shares of Yahoo! common stock from the company in a private placement transaction.