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Jerry Yang

Nearly 17 years after co-founding Yahoo, Jerry Yang is resigning from the board and “all other positions with the company,” according to an announcement this afternoon.

Yahoo shares are up more than 3.5 percent in after-hours trading.

His departure, effective today, follows the recent appointment of a new CEO, Scott Thompson, to replace Carol Bartz, who succeeded Yang in the role.

Yang is quoted in the Yahoo news release: “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.”

The Yahoo co-founder may be best remembered for standing his ground against an unsolicited acquisition bid from Microsoft, a deal that was originally proposed at $31 per share. Yahoo’s share price closed trading today at 15.43, slightly less than half of that, before rising in after hours trading on the announcement of Yang’s departure.

UPDATE: Kara Swisher of All Things D reports that as many as four others may soon be leaving Yahoo’s board, one she says may very well be “the most dysfunctional board in all of tech.” Among those who may depart next: Chairman Roy Bostock, Arthur Kern, Vyomesh Joshi and Gary Wilson.

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