Yahoo! has appointed computer industry veteran Carol Bartz as its new chief executive. Bartz is the former chairman of software maker Autodesk and replaces Jerry Yang.
Bartz led business software company Autodesk for 14 years and became its chairman in 2006. Prior to Autodesk she spent nine years at Sun Microsystems.
Under Bartz’s tenure, Autodesk’s annual sales grew from less than $300m (£205m) to $1.5bn (£1.03bn) and she guided the company through a transition into 3-D computer design.
Her appointment comes after a prolonged search to replace Jerry Yang, Yahoo!’s co-founder, who stepped down from his role of chief executive at the end of last year.
Yang, who took on the chief executive role in June 2007, will return to his previous position of chief strategy and technology officer and will remain on the board.
His departure from the top job came after a period of strong criticism of his leadership during which he fought off a hostile takeover bid from Microsoft, which angered shareholders and led to falling share prices.
Industry observers expect the Microsoft deal to be revived under Bartz’s stewardship.