The surprise departure, announced Tuesday, comes just two weeks after Yahoo Inc. hired former PayPal executive Scott Thompson as its CEO.
Yang, 43, endorsed Thompson in his resignation from Yahoo's board of directors. He had been on Yahoo's board since the company's 1995 inception.
"My time at Yahoo, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life," Yang wrote in his letter to Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock. "However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo."
Yang is also stepping down from the boards of China's Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan. Yahoo is negotiating to sell its stakes in both of the Asian companies as part of its efforts to placate investors.
SiliconBeat.com notes the resignation is both overdue and sad.Besides surrendering the board seats, Yang is giving up his title as "chief Yahoo."
No matter how rudderless Yahoo had become in recent years, Yang deservedly remains a Silicon Valley icon. He was there at the start of the Internet era, along with co-founder David Filo, building one of the first great Web businesses. It is a company that generated millions of dollars in wealth for founders and employees, created thousands of jobs, and helped pioneer the idea that the Web could be a place where businesses could be built.
In short, it’s nothing to sneer at. And if things had gone differently, it would be a career that people would be exulting today instead of softly mocking.
Had Yang taken this step several years ago, as many suggested, he might have moved into the role of Valley elder statesman. There could have been a graceful pivot to serving as a mentor or start-up advisor, angel investor or venture capitalist. Or perhaps even starting his own business.Reuters adds that the initial impression shareholders have is positive.