Marc Andreessen not interested in Yahoo CEO job

Fri Dec 9, 2011 4:26pm EST

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, speaks during the ''The Future of Technology'' panel at the Fortune Tech Brainstorm 2009 in Pasadena, California July 22, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, speaks during the ''The Future of Technology'' panel at the Fortune Tech Brainstorm 2009 in Pasadena, California July 22, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten

(Reuters) - Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said he is not interested in becoming chief executive of Internet pioneer Yahoo Inc, whose struggle to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook have forced it to explore proposals to revamp its business.

Yahoo fired CEO Carol Bartz in September, and its board of directors launched a strategic review of the company.

Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm co-founded by Andreessen, has partnered with private equity firm Silver Lake and Microsoft Corp in a bid to make a minority investment in Yahoo, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In a post on his blog on Friday though, Andreessen refuted media reports that he, or partner Jeff Jordan, might take the CEO job at Yahoo as part of the deal

"To be crystal clear, neither Jeff, nor I, nor any of our partners at Andreessen Horowitz, are in the running for, or would accept, any operating role at Yahoo, including CEO, acting CEO, chairman or executive chairman," Andreessen wrote.

Andreessen, who created the first widely used Web browser in the early 1990s, is among the most influential figures in the technology industry. Andreessen currently is a board member of Facebook, the world's No. 1 Internet social network, and computer giant Hewlett-Packard.

His two-year-old venture capital firm has backed high-flying start-ups including Zynga and Foursquare.

While Andreessen is not interested in any operational role at Yahoo, he would take one of three Yahoo board seats that the investing consortium would be entitled to under the proposal submitted with Silver Lake, according to the person familiar with the matter.

Yahoo's growth has stagnated in recent years due to competition from Google- and Facebook, and is currently without a permanent CEO as it tries to regain relevance.

Private equity firm TPG Capital has also made an offer for a minority stake in Yahoo, and Thomas H. Lee Partners is interested in buying the U.S. operations of Yahoo, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is also interested in a deal with Yahoo, which owns a 40 percent stake in Alibaba.

Shares of Yahoo were up 30 cents at $15.90 in afternoon trading on Friday on the Nasdaq.

"Jeff and I have high regard for Yahoo," Andreessen wrote in his blog post on Friday, "but we are fully committed to our day jobs as general partners at Andreessen Horowitz and board members of our portfolio companies."

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Steve Orlofsky)

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