Shares of Yahoo rose as several Wall Street analysts speculated that co=\-Founder jerry Yang’s exit signals the eventual sale of parts of or the entire company.
But the move also raised questions about Yahoo’s long-term plan, with one analyst arguing that Yang’s departure also suggests that its board is “favoring a turnaround” instead of selling the whole company.
The move came as the Yahoo board is believed to be exploring the possible sale of the beleaguered Internet giant, or at least its ownership stakes in Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan, which currently represent a large chunk of the company’s market value.
“With Yang gone, it is more likely that Yahoo will sell off the Asian assets or sell itself completely,” Needham analyst Laura Martin said in a note. “Either of these choices are good for public shareholders.”
Last year, Yahoo stunned investors by disclosing that Alibaba had transferred ownership of Alipay, its online payment business to an entity controlled by Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. A deal later signed by the two companies to settle the dispute was deemed by some analysts to be unfair to Yahoo.
And Yang’s departure also offers “more evidence” that the Yahoo directors are “leaning towards turnaround.”
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