Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.com puts Sue Decker at the top of her list to succeed Jerry Yang as Yahoo CEO if he returns to his former position of founder and chief Yahoo. She acknowledges that the Yahoo president has been part of the team that put Yahoo in its current position, but that she "might blossom if she had full control" over the company. It seems that she already has a lot of control over the company, based on her performance at the D6 conference and analyst calls over the last few months.
Kara also listed former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (who is busy as co-chair of the McCain presidential campaign), former Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig, and even Mark Cuban. Check out Kara's complete list.
Whatever transpires, it would be very difficult for Yang to give up the CEO seat. He wants to prove that he can turn around the company, but he may not be given a chance given all the tumult. Since Microsoft pounced on February 1, Yang's purple blood has been in the water, drawing a number of detractors, such as investor Carl Icahn, who would like to see him and the board gone.
Replacing Yang and appointing Decker as CEO or bringing in an outsider to run the company isn't going to dramatically alter the course of Yahoo history. The company needs to focus on products--getting its Yahoo Open Strategy and AMP advertising platform released. With a number of key people leaving and the ongoing drama around Yahoo's future, Yang's to-do list is not getting any less challenging.