Timeline: Key moments in Yahoo's business

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc and Yahoo begin preliminary talks on various partnerships, including a merger.

* February 2007 - Yahoo, under the leadership of Chief Executive Terry Semel, tells Microsoft it is not the right time to discuss a takeover, as the Yahoo board sees great potential in its new advertising technology and by making internal organizational changes.

* June 12 2007 - A strong minority of Yahoo shareholders challenges Yahoo’s direction, as Chief Executive Terry Semel comes under fire. Nearly a third of votes cast at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting oppose some of Yahoo’s directors.

* June 18 2007 - Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang takes over as chief executive as Semel steps aside. Semel remains Yahoo chairman.

* January 31 2008 - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer makes a $44.6 billion, $31-per-share, cash-and-stock takeover offer to Yahoo’s board. Semel resigns as chairman and is replaced by Roy Bostock.

* February 2008 - Yahoo begins talks with Time Warner Inc on a deal to combine Time Warner’s AOL unit with Yahoo in exchange for Time Warner taking a stake in the merged company. MySpace owner News Corp and Yahoo also discuss a tie-up.

* February 11 2008 - Yahoo rejects the Microsoft offer as too low.

* June 12 2008 - Yahoo announces a search advertising deal with Google for up to 10 years, and says talks with Microsoft have ended. Yahoo forecast an $800 million annual revenue opportunity from the Google deal, and a $250 million to $450 million boost to cash flow in the first 12 months. U.S. lawmakers are expected to scrutinize the deal on antitrust concerns.

* June 26 2008 - Yahoo unveils a reorganization plan that creates four operational units under President Susan Decker. The move comes as several senior executives leave the company.

* January 2009 - Carol Bartz, the former chief executive of software maker Autodesk Inc takes over the top job at Yahoo in January 2009. Bartz, who plays the accordion and the piano and has a penchant for salty language, has moved to cut costs and sell underperforming businesses since she joined.

* July 2009 - Bartz signs a 10-year search partnership with Microsoft. The deal shifts Yahoo’s costly back-end Web indexing chores to Microsoft while combining Yahoo and Microsoft’s Web audience to create a stronger rival to Google.

* Sept 2009 - Yahoo sells its entire 1.14 percent stake in, China’s largest business-to-business Internet marketplace, for about $150 million, nearly two years after the company went public, and surprising Alibaba executives near the Chinese company’s 10th-year anniversary.

Yahoo still holds a 40 percent stake in the unlisted parent company, Alibaba Group, co-founded by Chinese entrepreneur and former English teacher, Jack Ma.

* September 2010 - Bartz tells Reuters that Alibaba Group “constantly” approaches Yahoo about repurchasing its stake but that Yahoo has no plans to sell. Yahoo’s Asian assets, which also include a 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, account for about 40 percent of its value by some estimates.

* October 2010 - Private equity firms approach AOL and News Corp to gauge interest in buying out Yahoo.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Richard Chang