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Do You Yahoo!?

December 3, 2011

Jerry Yang and his classmate David Filo developed a website called David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web as part of a class project while at Stanford University in 1994. The initial site was simply a directory of other websites arranged according to a specific hierarchy. In 1995, the pair renamed the page Yahoo!, which is an acronym for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle. Yang and Filo added search capabilities to Yahoo! which grew incredibly popular as more and more people started using the Internet. Toward the end of the 1990s, Yahoo! made the transition from a one-trick search engine to a feature rich Web portal, adding e-mail, stock prices, news and other information.

Yahoo!, which went public in 1996, continued to expand and add to its offerings after the new millennium under Yang’s watchful eye. He and his team developed Yahoo! into one of the most highly trafficked sites as well as one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The company even developed its own search technology which it launched in 2004. Prior to that, it had been using Google’s technology.

In 2008, after turning down a deal from Microsoft to purchase Yahoo!, Yang stepped down as CEO and Carol Bartz was named his successor. Since stepping down as CEO, Yang has resumed his title as “Chief Yahoo,” a title he shares with co-founder Filo.

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