After much speculation about a possible hire early in the morning, Yahoo has officially appointed former PayPal president Scott Thompson as the new Chief Executive Officer. The new appointment will become effective as of January 9, 2012 as current CEO Tim Morse shifts back into his former Chief Financial Officer position. Yahoo said Thompson will also serve on the company's Board of Directors starting on January 9 as well.
"Scott brings to Yahoo! a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo!," said Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Yahoo! Board. "His deep understanding of online businesses combined with his team building and operational capabilities will restore the energy, focus, and momentum necessary to grow the core business and deliver increased value for our shareholders. The search committee and the entire Board concluded that he is the right leader to return the core business to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation."
Early Wednesday morning an internal eBay memo distributed by CEO John Donahoe was leaked, revealing the CEO and company's "shock" over Thompson's move to Yahoo. Donahoe noted that he'd known about the negotiations for some time, but Thompson finally made his decision known on Tuesday. Donahoe said that he will personally serve as the interim role as PayPal's President until someone is hired on to fill the position.
"Scott informed me Tuesday afternoon, saying that despite his passion for PayPal, this was an opportunity he felt he had to take. I know I speak for everyone in wishing Scott the best," Donahoe stated in the letter. "And while I’m sure Scott’s decision is a shock to many of you, as it was to me, there is one thing I am certain of: PayPal has an enormous opportunity in front of it and we will not slow down. We will not miss a beat. And we will continue driving the incredible momentum that each of you has helped to create."
Prior to serving as President of eBay's PayPal division, Thompson filled the roles of PayPal's Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, and also as Executive Vice President of technology solutions at Inovant prior to joining eBay. Thompson was also Chief Information Officer of Barclays Global Investors, where he implemented a new strategic technology platform and global infrastructure. In addition, he worked with Coopers and Lybrand, delivering information technology solutions to leading financial services clients.
According to Bostock, Thompson's primary focus as the new CEO will be on the core business. "As CEO and director, he will work closely with the Board as we continue the strategic review process to identify the best approaches for the Company and its shareholders," he added. "As part of this process, Yahoo! is considering a wide range of opportunities for the Company's business, as well as specific investments or dispositions of assets."
The full official announcement from Yahoo can be read right here.