Autodesk’s Carol Bartz to Be Yahoo’s Next CEO

After a two-month search, Yahoo has selected Carol Bartz to replace Jerry Yang at the company’s helm. Bartz, 60, is chairman and former CEO of Autodesk, and a member of President Bush’s advisory council on science and technology issues.

She gained management experience with many important but unsexy tech companies, including 3M, Sun Microsystems, and Digital Equipment Corp, but is relatively unversed in digital marketing. Her appointment indicates Yahoo’s board plans to maintain a strong focus on the company’s technology and business underpinnings, while leaving the media sales strategy to other senior executives. That means Hilary Schneider, SVP Yahoo U.S., and Joanne Bradford, SVP of U.S. revenue and market development.

bartzyahoo.jpg Yahoo President Sue Decker, a contender for the CEO spot, will resign from the company after a transitional period, Yahoo said. Decker’s star at Yahoo waxed ascendant after the departure of former CEO Terry Semel in 2007. However her shot at the job was likely hurt by the onslaught of senior executive departures, by the company’s sagging fortunes, and by its failure to consummate major deals with Microsoft and Google in 2008.

On Bratz’s watch, Autodesk, which develops design software for manufacturing, construction, and other markets, increased revenues from $285 million when she took over in 1992 to $1.5 billion when she stepped down 14 years later, according to her official bio. Fortune put her on its list of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” in 2005, the same year Barron’s named her one of the 30 most respected CEOs in the world. She also sits on the boards of Intel, Cisco, and NetApp.

Article has been updated.

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