His father died when he was only two years. Yang moved to San José at the age of ten years with his mother and brother. He said that even if his mother was an English teacher, he knew only one word (shoe) on his arrival in the United States.
Yang is graduated from the Sierramont Middle School, and Piedmont Hills School and he received his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering at Stanford University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
In 1994, Jerry Yang founded Yahoo! with David Filo. Their aim was building the first directory of websites on Internet. Initially, this directory of websites called “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wilde Web”.
They worked on this project during their studies at Stanford University. But quickly, the website knows a big success following the development of the web. Yahoo ! decides to popularize the concept of portal including content and services. In 2005, the company announces a turnover of $ 5.2 billion, a net income of $ 1.9 billion thanks to a workforce of 11,000 employees.
Jerry Yang thought that AOL and Microsoft were awesome competitors so he decided to use his personal fortune ($ 10 million) to fund the company Google. Despite a return on investment of 5000%, Jerry Yang will always repent this action, which let the creation of the biggest search engine.
In the early 2000, Yahoo ! didn’t use sponsored links, this new form of online advertising that will make the fortune of Google. Since 2004, the two internet giants are angry.
Jerry who has led various positions in the company is called to become CEO of the American group in July 2007 in order to boost Yahoo.
In February 2008, Microsoft wanted to outdo Google so proposed to buy Yahoo ($ 47 billion) but the company refused.
Jerry Yang who tried to maintain a strategy of independence for Yahoo ! is forced to negotiate a major advertising deal with Google. But American advertisers and the competitor’s authorities are not in favour of this alliance which could raise the power of Google on the online advertising market. Google decides to give up the project. Disappointed, Mr. Yang says that a rapprochement between Yahoo ! and Microsoft would be the best option. But Steve Ballmer, the boss of the software refuses.
In November 2008, his board of directors forced him to resign. Jerry Yang is replaced by Carol Bartz, a veteran of Silicon Valley. However, Jerry Yang keeps his position on the board of directors and always works in the company.
In January 2012, Jerry Yang leaves the company and its board of directors.
Jerry Yang was really criticized during the arrest of Chinese journalist Sho Tao by Chinese authorities. This journalist showed, on a website pro democracy, Chinese’s authorities willingness to do not give media for the 15th anniversary of Tiananmen. Yahoo ! collaborated with the Chinese authorities to find the responsible. Sho Tao was condemned for “divulging state secrets abroad”.
According to Forbes, his fortune was estimated at $ 1.3 billion in 2011.
Jerry Yang is married to Akiko Yamazaki.
"Certainly Yahoo! wouldn't exist without the sort of environment that Stanford gave us to allow us to create it."
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