http://kara.allthingsd.com/20081117...r-new-ceo-commences/?reflink=ATD_yahoo_ticker "Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang will step down from his job as CEO, said sources close to the company, as soon as the board finds a replacement for him, in what sources close to the situation call a joint decision by him and the companyâs directors. Yahoo (YHOO) will announce the move within the next hour. Yahoo has hired Heidrick & Struggles, the well-known executive search firm, to evaluate candidates, both internally and externally. After a replacement is found, which the company hopes will be quickly, sources said, Yang will resume his former title as Chief Yahoo and will also remain on the companyâs board. While did-he-walk-or-was-he-pushed speculation will no doubt be rampant, sources said Yang has and will play an important role in the search for his replacement. Sources close to the board expect the choice will end up being an outsider and likely not current Yahoo President Sue Decker, although she is being considered for the job. But both she and Yang have been closely affiliated with each other, as the company has struggled to right itself after tumultuous year and its stock price has plummeted. Yahoo shares close today at $10.63, trading at historic lows and giving the company a valuation of only $14.7 billion. While Yahooâs board has some execs in mind to become CEO, obvious candidates include News Corp. COO Peter Chernin, as well as former AOL head Jon Miller, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig. BoomTown would also throw in former Microsoft exec Kevin Johnson, who is now CEO of Juniper Networks, who led the software giantâs abandoned takeover bid against Yahoo earlier this year. According to sources, both Yang and the board have been discussing the move for months, although publicly Yang has been saying he was going to stay in place to see through the many changes he has made in his 16-month tenure. In a recent interview with me, in fact, Yang said about his determination to lead: âIn this uncertain environment, I think I am absolutely the right person. Times like this require a leader who really understands this company and its customers, and I think I do. The world is a different place today than even a month ago and I think I am the best person to guide Yahoo through this volatile time.â In fact, it has always been a volatile time for Yang. He took over suddenly last July from former CEO Terry Semel, whose departure also came after Yahooâs struggles worsened. Things only got worse for Yang, due to both his own and previous management missteps and also external forces, including a hostile takeover attempt by Microsoft (MSFT), which was followed by a proxy fight by activist shareholder Carl Icahn. Yahoo also saw its search business decline and its strong graphical ad business suffer in the midst of the current economic meltdown. There has also been an exodus of major executives over the last year, along with recently announced layoffs of 10 percent of the company, which are set to take place December 10. In addition, Yahooâs controversial search ad with Google (GOOG) recently collapsed and its talks to merge with Time Warner (TWX) online unit AOL have dragged on. With all this, sources close to the company said that both Yang and the board felt the company needed another leader to take it to the next level, and complete the turnaround efforts Yang has been trying to pull off. âIt was time for someone else,â said one source close to the board. More, obviously, to comeâ¦"