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Autodesk boss goes to Yahoo as new CEO

YAHOO! Inc named technology veteran Carol Bartz as its new chief executive on Tuesday, bringing in a no-nonsense leader known for developing a clear focus ?? something that has eluded the struggling Internet company during a three-year slump.

The decision to lure Bartz, 60, from software maker Autodesk Inc ends Yahoo's two-month search to replace co-founder Jerry Yang, who gave up the CEO reins after potentially lucrative deals with Microsoft Corp and Google Inc both collapsed.

After describing herself as a straight shooter, Bartz told analysts in a conference call that she intended to ensure Yahoo gets "some friggin' breathing room" so the company can "kick some butt." She said it would be presumptuous to share her vision for Yahoo on her first day on the job.

"I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't believe there was a huge opportunity here," Bartz said before she had to hustle off to her first meeting with Yahoo's top managers.

After a tepid early reaction, investors seemed to warm up to Bartz's appointment. Yahoo shares fell 12 cents on Tuesday to close at US$12.10, then recovered 47 cents, almost 4 percent, in extended trading.

Bartz's appointment could set the stage for Microsoft to renew its efforts to buy Yahoo's Internet search operations as a way of mounting a more serious threat to Google, the market leader. Microsoft had been reluctant to deal with Yang because he rebuffed previous overtures, including a US$47.5-billion offer to buy Yahoo in its entirety last May.

Microsoft then withdrew that bid, valued at US$33 a share. Yang had hoped to placate shareholders by using Google's superior technology to sell some of the ads alongside Yahoo's search results, but that idea unraveled after antitrust regulators threatened to block the deal.



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