* Bartz was Autodesk chairman
* Yahoo President Sue Decker to resign after transition
* Shares end down 1 pct, after falling more than 3 pct
(Recasts with Bartz named; adds Sue Decker's departure, Bartz
remarks from conference call)
By Anupreeta Das
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 13 Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) named
Autodesk Inc (ADSK.O) Chairman Carol Bartz as CEO, but Wall
Street questioned whether the software executive has the
experience needed to turn around the Internet media company.
While Bartz is a Silicon Valley veteran with a reputation
for being a tough but fair manager, shareholders of Yahoo had
hoped for a chief executive with more deal-making credentials
who could revive talks with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).
Yahoo also said on Tuesday that President Sue Decker, one
of the candidates to succeed Jerry Yang as CEO, will resign
after a transitional period. Other names that had been
mentioned in the press as possible contenders include News Corp
(NWSA.O) Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin and Arun Sarin,
ex-CEO of Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L).
"I think the market may be a little bit disappointed that
Yahoo's not going with someone who isn't a little bit more
savvy when it comes to technology and media," said Todd
Greenwald, an analyst at Signal Hill.
Shares of Yahoo fell 3.6 percent after news of Bartz's hire
was reported on the Wall Street Journal's website, but the
stock recovered to end the day down just 1 percent at $12.10 as
analysts said the end of the two-month CEO search could help
bring some stability to the company.
Yang, who co-founded Yahoo, agreed in November to step down
as CEO, capping a tumultuous year in which he angered many
shareholders by rejecting a $47.5 billion takeover bid from
Microsoft only to see an alternative Web search advertising
partnership with Google Inc (GOOG.O) fall apart under U.S.
Yahoo has struggled to maintain its hold on the Internet
search advertising market against Google, and suffered a
dizzying stock slide after rejecting Microsoft's bid.
Bartz, 60, was chairman, president and CEO of software
company Autodesk for 14 years until she stepped down in April
2006. Under her tenure, Autodesk's revenues rose to more than
$1.5 billion from less than $300 million, and its share price
increased nearly ten-fold, Yahoo said.
Autodesk said Bartz will remain executive chairman even
after taking the Yahoo job. She has also held executive
positions at Sun Microsystems Inc JAVA.O and is on the boards
of Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and Intel Corp (INTC.O).
Bartz, on her first conference call as Yahoo's CEO,
sharply rejected the idea that running an online media company
would be a tough task given that her executive experience has
mostly been in the software and technology fields.
"I didn't know CAD (computer-aided design) when I joined
Autodesk, I didn't know hardware when I joined Sun," she said
in response to an analyst's question. "I am a technology
person, I am a market-driven person, I love customers. So I
suspect I have a little brainpower to learn what it takes to
Bartz said she would "dive deep" into Yahoo in the next few
weeks to learn more about its operations, and will look to
Yang, the board and employees to "jump-start my education."
Gartner analyst Allen Weiner said Bartz is known as a
leader who could build consensus among different factions.
"That's certainly something that Yahoo needs right now.
They need that adult leader to bring that order to the
company," he said. "She's not what you would call a dot-com or
Web insider, but maybe that's not what Yahoo needs right now.
Bill Coleman, CEO of software maker Cassatt, who has known
Bartz since 1985, said she was "an extrovert who gets energy
out of being involved, being where the action is."
"She has the unique ability to be able to look you in the
eye and tell you exactly what you are doing wrong -- how you
messed up -- and you leave feeling that she has done you a
favor," said Coleman, who worked for Bartz at Sun Microsystems
in the 1980s and recruited her to the board of BEA Systems when
he was BEA's chief executive.
Bartz holds a bachelors degree in Computer Science from the
University of Wisconsin.
(Additional reporting by Gabriel Madway in San Francisco,
Yinka Adegoke in New York and Jim Finkle in Boston; Writing by
Robert MacMillan and Tiffany Wu; Editing by Derek Caney, Gerald
E. McCormick and Tim Dobbyn)