JERRY CHIH-YUAN YANG (traditional Chinese : 楊致遠; simplified
Chinese : 杨致远; pinyin : Yáng Zhìyuǎn;
Pe̍h-ōe-jī : iông
tì oán; born November 6, 1968 in
Taiwan ) is an American
Internet entrepreneur and programmer . He is the co-founder and former
Yahoo! Inc .
* 1 Early life
* 2 Career
* 2.1 1994–2012:
* 2.1.1 Alibaba
* 2.1.2 Chinese government collaboration controversies
* 2.1.4 Resignation as CEO to departure
* 2.2 AME Cloud Ventures
* 2.3 Board seats
* 3 Personal life
* 4 Philanthropy
* 5 References
* 6 External links
Jerry Yang's signature
Yang was born with the name Yang Chih-Yuan in
November 6, 1968; his mother was a professor of English and drama and
his father died when he was two and by then Yang had a brother. In
1978, his mother moved the family to San Jose,
California , where his
grandmother and extended family took care of the boys while his mother
taught English to other immigrants. After coming to the US Yang took
the American name Jerry, his mother Lily, and his brother Ken. He
says that he only knew one English word, "shoe", when he came to
America, but became fluent in English in about three years.
Yang earned both a
Bachelor of Science and a
Master of Science in
electrical engineering from
Stanford University in four years. He met
David Filo at Stanford in 1989, and the two of them went to Japan in
1992 for a six-month exchange program, during which he met his future
wife, who was there as part of the exchange program.
Yahoo! in 1994, served as CEO from 2007 to 2009. He left
Yahoo! in 2012. He founded a venture capital firm called AME Cloud
Ventures and, as of 2015, serves on several corporate boards.
According to Rob Solomon, a venture capitalist at
Accel Partners ,
Yang was "a great founder, evangelist, strategist and mentor", having
"created the blueprint for what is possible on the Internet".
1994–2012: YAHOO! YEARS
While studying at Stanford in 1994, Yang and
David Filo co-created an
Internet website called "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide
Web", which consisted of a directory of other websites. As it grew in
popularity they renamed it "
Yahoo! Inc. ".
Yahoo! received around
100,000 unique visitors by the fall of 1994. In April 1995, Yahoo!
received a $2 million investment from
Sequoia Capital ,
Tim Koogle was
hired as CEO, and Yang and Filo were each appointed "Chief Yahoo".
Yahoo! received a second round of funding in the Fall 1995 from
Softbank . It went public in April 1996 with 49 employees.
In 1999, Yang was named to the MIT
Technology Review TR100 as one
of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. Terry
Semel , who replaced Koogle as CEO after the dot-com bubble crash,
served until 2007 when the rise of
Google led the board to fire him
and appoint Yang as interim CEO.
Yang met Alibaba founder
Jack Ma in 1997 during Yang's first trip to
China. Ma, a government-employed tour guide and former English
teacher, gave Yang a tour of the
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China . The two hit it
off and discussed the growth of the Web. Ma created Alibaba several
months later. A 1997 photo of Yang and Ma at the Great Wall still
hangs on the wall in Alibaba's
In 2005, under Yang's direction but before he took over as CEO in
Yahoo! purchased a 40% stake in Alibaba for $1 billion plus the
Yahoo! China, valued at $700 million. In 2012,
a portion of its stake in Alibaba for $7.6 billion. The company made
an additional $9.4 billion in Alibaba's 2014 IPO . Eric Jackson, the
founder of hedge fund Ironfire Capital, called Yahoo!'s investment in
Alibaba "the best investment an American company has ever made in
China," and stated, "Jerry deserves enormous credit for that."
Chinese Government Collaboration Controversies
In fall 2005, a month after the Alibaba investment, news broke that
Yahoo! had cooperated with Chinese authorities in the arrest of
Chinese journalist Shi Tao in November 2004. Shi had used a Yahoo
email address to anonymously notify a pro-democracy website in the US
that the Chinese government had ordered the Chinese media not to cover
the fifteenth anniversary of the
Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 on
Yahoo! provided the Chinese security agencies with the IP
addresses of the senders, the recipients and the time of the message.
Shi was subsequently convicted for "divulging state secrets abroad".
Yang justified the action, stating: "To be doing business in China or
anywhere else in the world, we have to comply with local law." Yang
Yahoo! were heavily criticized, and Reporters Without Borders
Yahoo! "a Chinese police informant".
In April 2007,
Wang Xiaoning and other journalists brought a civil
Yahoo! for allegedly aiding and abetting the Chinese
government which, it was claimed, resulted in torture that included
beatings and imprisonment.
In early November 2007, Yang faced questions from a Congressional
committee with respect to Yahoo!'s role in the arrests of Tao and
other journalists in China. During the hearings he apologized to Tao's
mother, who was also at the hearing.
A week later,
Yahoo! agreed to settle with affected Chinese
dissidents, paying them undisclosed compensation. Yang stated, "After
meeting with the families, it was clear to me what we had to do to
make this right for them, for Yahoo, and for the future." That week,
Yang established the
Yahoo! Human Rights Fund, a fund to provide
"humanitarian and legal support" to online dissidents.
In February 2008, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said that she
raised issues about jailed Chinese journalists with her Chinese
Yang Jiechi ; she cited a letter from Jerry Yang
requesting her assistance in freeing the jailed dissidents. Late in
Laogai Museum opened; the museum was run by noted Chinese
Harry Wu and showcased China's laogai penal system. It was
funded by the
Yahoo! Human Rights Fund.
In February 2008,
Microsoft made an unsolicited offer to buy Yahoo!
for $44.6 billion; at the time
Yahoo! was still struggling to catch up
to Google, while
Microsoft was still seeking an internet strategy.
The offer was a 62% premium to Yahoo!'s market value at the time. The
negotiations were difficult, as Yang had no desire to sell
would not make a counter offer. Once the negotiations ended in
failure in May 2008, Yahoo!'s stock price plunged. Yang and board
chairman Roy Bostock were strongly criticized by investors for their
handling of negotiations, which later led to several shareholder
lawsuits and a proxy fight led by
Carl Icahn , which was settled in
Yang's response to the
Microsoft takeover was to make a commercial
search advertising arrangement with
Google but they ended negotiation,
after U.S. authorities voiced concerns regarding the effect on
competition in the market.
Resignation As CEO To Departure
On November 17, 2008,
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal reported Yang would
step down as CEO as soon as the company found a replacement. He
served as CEO until 2009, when
Carol Bartz as CEO. He
regained his former position as "Chief Yahoo" and remained on Yahoo's
board of directors.
In January 2012,
Yahoo! announced that Yang was leaving the company
and would be resigning from the board and all other positions at the
company. The company also announced his resignation from the boards of
Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba Corp.
AME CLOUD VENTURES
Yahoo! he became a mentor to technology startups and an
investor through his firm, AME Cloud Ventures. AME (pronounced
"ah-meh") has provided funding to more than 50 startups, including
Wattpad and Chinese travel site Shijiebang. "Ame"
means "rain" in Japanese, a nod to Yang's interest in cloud computing.
He re-joined the board of Alibaba in 2014.
Alibaba Group (2006 – 2012; 2014 – )
Stanford University Board of Trustees
Workday, Inc. (2013 – )
* Curbside (2013 – )
Lenovo Group Ltd (Observer) (2013 – )
Yang is married to Akiko Yamazaki, a Japanese woman who was raised in
Costa Rica , whom he met in 1992 during a 6-month Stanford exchange
program when they were both students there. Yamazaki graduated from
Stanford University with a degree in industrial engineering and is a
director with the
Wildlife Conservation Network . He currently
Los Altos Hills ,
In February 2007, Yang and his wife gave $75 million to Stanford
University , their alma mater, $50 million of which went to building
Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building", a
multi-disciplinary research, teaching and lab building designed with
sustainable architecture principles.
In late 2012 and early 2013, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
exhibited selections from the
Chinese calligraphy collection belonging
to Yang and his wife. He began the collection in the late 1990s; it
contains about 250 pieces. These selections also appeared at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 2014 exhibition "Out of Character:
Decoding Chinese Calligraphy."
* ^ A B "#869 Jerry Yang". Forbes.
* ^ "Jerry Chih-Yuan Yang". Boardroom Insiders. November 7, 2014.
Retrieved April 30, 2015.
* ^ A B Henderson, Harry (2009), "Yang, Jerry (Chih-Yuan Yang)", A
to Z of Computer Scientists, Infobase, p. 279
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L Parmy Olson for Forbes. 30 September
2014 Finding Alibaba: How
Jerry Yang Made The Most Lucrative Bet In
Silicon Valley History
* ^ Pickert, Kate (19 November 2008). "
Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang".
* ^ Sherman, Josepha (2001).
Jerry Yang and
David Filo : chief
yahoos of Yahoo!. Brookfield, Conn.: Twenty-First Century Books. ISBN
* ^ A B C D Schlender, Brent (2000-03-06). "How A Virtuoso Plays
The Web". Fortune. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
* ^ Solomon, Rob. "Yahoo Was the GE of the Internet". recode.com.
Recode. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
Yahoo! Inc. – Company History. yhoo.client.shareholder.com
* ^ Hal Plotkin for Metro. 11 April 1996 MetroActive: A Couple of
* ^ "1999 Young Innovators Under 35: Jerry Yang, 29". Technology
Review . 1999. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
* ^ A B Helft, Miguel (18 September 2014). "Jerry Yang: The most
successful American investor in China?". Fortune. Time, Inc. Retrieved
5 January 2015.
* ^ Novellino, Teresa (1 October 2014). "Inside Jerry Yang\'s wild
bet on Alibaba and Jack Ma". Upstart Business Journal. American City
Business Journals. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
* ^ A B Joseph Kahn for The New York Times. September 8, 2005 Yahoo
Role Documented in Chinese Trial
* ^ Reporters Without Borders. 6 September 2005 Information
supplied by Yahoo ! helped journalist Shi Tao get 10 years in prison.
* ^ Editors of The Washington Post. September 18, 2005 Editorial:
* ^ Miguel Helft for
The New York Times April 19, 2007 Chinese
Political Prisoner Sues in U.S. Court, Saying Yahoo Helped Identify
* ^ Yahoo summoned to Washington over Chinese arrests, c/net news
blog, October 16, 2007
* ^ Boudreau, John (2007-11-07). "Lawmaker scolds Yahoo: \'Morally
you are pygmies\'". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
* ^ Associated Press in The New York Times. November 7, 2007 Yahoo
Criticized in Case of Jailed Dissident
* ^ Corey Boles and Scott Morrison for The Wall Street Journal.
Nov. 14, 2007 Yahoo Settles Suit Over Jailed Chinese Dissidents
* ^ "Press Release:
Yahoo! Inc Reaches Settlement On Lawsuit Works
To Establish Human Rights Fund" (PDF). Yahoo!. 13 November 2007.
* ^ "Rice presses China on jailed dissidents". The New York Times.
* ^ Fowler, Geoffrey A (12 November 2008). "Yahoo-Sponsored Chinese
Human Rights Museum Opens in Washington". The Wall Street Journal.
Retrieved 12 December 2008.
* ^ "Yahoo weighs up options". Financial Times. February 3, 2008.
* ^ A B Lohr, Steve (2008-05-05). "Microsoft\'s Failed Yahoo Bid
Risks Online Growth".
The New York Times . Retrieved 2008-05-06.
* ^ Rob Hof for Bloomberg BusinessWeek TechBeat July 21, 2008 Yahoo
Settles Proxy Fight With Icahn; What\'s Next?
* ^ Yang to Step Down as Yahoo CEO, The Wall Street Journal,
November 18, 2008
* ^ Yahoo names new chief executive, BBC News, January 14, 2009
* ^ Michael Liedtke (2008-11-18). "
Yahoo! to Replace Yang as CEO".