Jerry Yang has been named as chief executive at Yahoo! after Terry Semel stepped down yesterday.

In a letter to the board of directors, Mr Semel said that he felt that the need to step back "sooner rather than later" and is set to continue to serve at the internet firm in a non-executive chairman capacity.

Mr Yang, one of Yahoo!’s co-founders, is to take over from Mr Semel, while Sue Decker has been named president of the firm as it looks to turn around its fortunes.

Accepting the new role, Mr Yang paid tribute to both Mr Semel and Ms Decker and described his excitement at the challenge that lies ahead.

"My immediate and overarching priorities are to realise Yahoo!’s strategic vision by accelerating execution, further strengthening our leadership team and fostering an even stronger culture of winning," he said.

Mr Semel’s resignation comes after a stormy annual meeting with shareholders, at which he was challenged by Eric Jackson over the company’s recent performance.

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