Feb 8, NY Times

SAN FRANCISCO — One of the first questions that Jerry Yang and his top lieutenants pondered after he became chief executive of Yahoo last summer was whether the company could remain independent. They quickly answered yes.

But Mr. Yang, who founded Yahoo along with David Filo in 1995, had a harder time coming up with convincing answers for many of the more complex questions facing the company. How exactly would an independent Yahoo sharpen its focus, shed marginal projects and become a stronger competitor to Google, the runaway leader in online search and advertising?

Mr. Yang, a cerebral, highly analytic executive who, by all accounts, cares deeply about the company he helped build and its workers, appears to have run out of time to answer those questions. A $44.6 billion bid from Microsoft is once again forcing Mr. Yang and his board to consider the viability of Yahoo as an independent company.

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photo: Yahoo’s chief executive, Jerry Yang, is facing his toughest challenge: whether to keep his company independent (John G. Mabanglo/European Pressphoto Agency)