Semel had been the chairman and co-CEO of Warner Bros., the movie and music division of what was Time Warner Inc. His appointment hastens the transition of the current chairman-CEO, Tim Koogle, to a more minor role within the company.
Koogle, who had been expected to retain the chairman's role, will now become vice chairman, the company said in a statement. In August, he will relinquish that responsibility but maintain his position on the Yahoo! board. President-CEO Jeff Mallett and Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker will now report to Semel.
It was believed that Yahoo!, which has recently stumbled due to the overall advertising slump and increased pressure from media companies with a broader revenue base, would appoint someone who had wider experience in the media and entertainment industries to the role.
Semel, who left Warner Bros. in 1999, certainly fits that bill. Yahoo! played up in its statement that Semel had built up Warner Bros. from a company focused on a single revenue source to one with "revenues from multiple, diverse businesses." -- Catharine P. Taylor
Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.