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Is Carol Bartz Yahoo’s Messiah?

The Wall Street Journal thinks that this might be the week Yahoo finally names its long overdue replacement for CEO Jerry Yang

The Wall Street Journal thinks that this might be the week Yahoo finally names its long overdue replacement for CEO Jerry Yang and the latest name to surface as a possible is that of Autodesk executive chairman and former CEO Carol Bartz, a veteran of Sun and DEC and, like Steve Jobs, a cancer survivor.

Her name was first bruited last week by AllThingsDigital, the Dow Jones blog that owns the Yahoo story, and repeated again by the Journal.

Bartz, 60, knows how to grow a software company - when she took over Autodesk in 1992 it was a $250 million company and left it two years ago a $1.25 billion company - but she has little experience of either advertising or the web.

It is also unclear whether she wants the job. Yahoo, like Novell before Eric Schmidt, has a long list of people like ex-Vodefone CEO Arun Sarin who've said no and may have to fall back on an internal candidate.

Bartz is on the board of Intel (like Yahoo president Sue Decker), Cisco (like Yang) and NetApp.

The Journal says it can't tell whether she's a "backup candidate or a front-runner" but Yahoo's board is "leaning toward an external pick" and wants to announce its choice before its Q4 earnings come out at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave an interview to the Financial Times and says he thinks it's time for Microsoft to make another run at Yahoo's search business.

A few weeks ago Microsoft, which first offered to buy Yahoo's search business last spring, hired Yahoo's ex-search boss Qi Lu to run its online operations and Ballmer told the paper, "We now have someone in place running our online business, and Yahoo is out looking for a CEO. If a search deal is to be made, it's probably to be made in the interim period for new leaders in both places."

Yahoo's search for Yang's replacement started in mid-November.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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