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Yahoo Appoints Blake Jorgensen CFO
[May 16, 2007]

Yahoo Appoints Blake Jorgensen CFO

TMCnet Contributing Editor
When Yahoo! and Microsoft (News - Alert) partnered to fight their common market competitor Google, it was rumored that Microsoft might eventually buy out Yahoo!. But it seems that the Internet giant has other ideas. Recently, announcing the appointment of veteran investment banker Blake Jorgensen as the new chief financial officer, the company gave clear signals that it wants to expand through acquisitions, rather than selling to potential suitors like Microsoft Corp.

There have been some recent changes in the Yahoo! top level management. Yahoo! Chairman Terry Semel, for example, is under pressure to boost the declining profits of the company. Susan Decker, whom Blake Jorgensen is replacing, was widely believed to be the replacement for Terry Semel. Decker was with Yahoo! as the company’s CFO for last seven years.

Jorgensen has served one of Silicon Valley's most prolific dealmakers, Thomas Weisel, for more than a decade and he will join Yahoo! on June 4th. Jorgensen was previously co-director of investment banking for Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc., and has an impressive record as an investment banker. Last year he helped his division to increase profit by 65 percent and before that, spent five years as Thomas Weisel Partners' chief operating officer. He stepped down from that job in March 2007.
In the recent years, Yahoo!’s (News - Alert) main rival, Google, has advanced significantly in the online advertising arena and left other companies, including Yahoo!, little time to recover. Google’s dominance in the online advertising market is growing each day and Yahoo! is obviously looking to those who are good at identifying and negotiating takeovers to help stiffen competition with Google (News - Alert). According to industry analysts, when a company recruits an investment banker as its CFO, it’s a clear indication that the company is looking at some major deals in the near future.
Although one of the major responsibilities of Jorgensen will be to manage the company's mergers and acquisitions group, there is also more expected.
“I’m sure there are a lot of other great M&A guys out there,” said Jorgensen in an AP report. According to Jorgensen, what attracted him to the job offer was the chance to get involved in the technological and cultural changes bringing advertising revenue to the Internet. Jorgensen will get a salary of $450,000 and other incentives include 425,000 stock options and 125,000 shares of restricted stock.
While the exercise price of the stock options will be pegged to Yahoo!'s market value on the date of the grant, the restricted stock, currently worth $3.6 million, is expected to vest in three years.

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