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Jerry Yang
Jerry Yang
Age: 40
Last list appearance: 2004
Then: Co-founder and CEO, Yahoo
Now: Co-founder and Director, Yahoo

When we last compiled the "40 under 40," Jerry Yang sat on top of the world. Shares of Yahoo had just made a remarkable 200% recovery from their collapse during the economic downturn in 2003, and Yang was gleefully buying up smaller search rivals and fine-tuning Yahoo's e-mail service.

But Yahoo's two-pronged business - search and mail - was wholly unprepared to compete with the one-stop digital shop offered by Google. Since Google's rise, Yahoo's market share in search, which once seemed insurmountable, has fallen to less than 20%.

Yang, once the poster child for the dot-com boom, became one of its high-profile casualties: After fighting an unsolicited $44.6 billion takeover bid by Microsoft in February 2008, Yang nearly closed a search deal with Google in the summer. But after the deal fell through, in the wake of a possible antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice -- Yang was asked to step down as Yahoo's CEO. Still he remains a Yahoo director and "Chief Yahoo!"

NEXT: Naveen Jain

Last updated November 02 2009: 9:45 AM ET
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