File photo of former CEO of Yahoo! Inc. Jerry Yang arrives at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York
Co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo! Inc. Jerry Yang arrives for the announcement of a commitment pledge at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in this September 22, 2010 file photo.REUTERS

Yahoo! Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang finally has decided to step down, giving Scott Thompson, the new chief executive, fresh flexibility. Yahoo announced that Jerry has resigned from its Board of Directors and all other positions with the company, effective today. He has also resigned from the Boards of Yahoo Japan Corporation and Alibaba Group Holding Limited.

In a letter to the Yahoo! Board Chairman Roy Bostock, Jerry Yang said that he had rewarding experience at Yahoo and hopes the new chief executive will guide the company to successful future.

Here is the excerpt of Yang's letter to the Yahoo! Board Chairman Roy Bostock:

"My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo! As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future."

Yang co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in 1995 with David Filo and served as a member of the Board of Directors since March 1995 and as Chief Executive Officer from June 2007 to January 2009. The Company went public in 1996.

Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Yahoo! Board, is all praise for Jerry. "Jerry Yang is a visionary and a pioneer, who has contributed enormously to Yahoo! during his many years of service," he said, adding, "It has been a pleasure to work with Jerry. His unique strategic insights have been invaluable. He has always remained focused on the best interests of Yahoo!'s stakeholders, including shareholders, employees and more than 700 million users. And while I and the entire Board respect his decision, we will miss his remarkable perspective, vision and wise counsel. On behalf of the Board, we thank Jerry and wish him all the very best in his future endeavors."

 "We appreciate Jerry's comments and share his enthusiasm for the company's prospects. With Scott Thompson leading an outstanding team of Yahoos to deliver innovative products and an engaging customer experience, Yahoo!'s future is bright," Bostock concluded.

"I am grateful for the warm welcome and support Jerry provided me during my early days here," said Scott Thompson, Yahoo!'s Chief Executive Officer. "Jerry leaves behind a legacy of innovation and customer focus for this iconic brand, having shaped our culture by fostering a spirit of innovation that began 17 years ago and continues to grow even stronger today. Jerry has great confidence in the future of Yahoo!, and I share his confidence in the enormous potential of Yahoo! in the days ahead."