Yahoo kickstarts the year with a new CEO

Yahoo's search for a CEO has ended with the online giant appointing former PayPal president Scott Thompson to the role.

He takes charge on 9 January and has also been also been appointed to the company's board of directors as Tim Morse resumes his role of chief financial officer.

Thompson is credited for solidifying PayPal's lead as the global online payment service, expanding its user base from 50 million to more than 104 million active users in 190 countries worldwide and increasing the number of merchant partners to more than 8 million globally, and growing revenues from US$1.8 billion to US$4+ billion in 2011.

Yahoo hopes he will replicate the success in this new role.

The news comes amidst speculations that Yahoo is mulling to sell its Asia business in a deal worth approximately US$17 billion.The Yahoo board, however, is still uninterested in the sale of the entire company.

Thompson's primary focus will be on the core business, and as CEO and director, he will work closely with the board as Yahoo undertakes a strategic review process to identify the best approaches for the company and its shareholders.

According to Roy Bostock, chairman of the Yahoo Board, as part of this process, Yahoo is considering a wide range of opportunities for the company's business, as well as specific investments or dispositions of assets.

"Scott brings to Yahoo a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo," Bostock said.

"Yahoo is an industry icon and I am very excited about the prospect of working with one of the great teams in the online world to deliver Yahoo!'s next era of success. Clearly, speed is important but we will attack both the opportunity ahead and the competitive challenges with an appropriate balance of urgency and thoughtfulness," Thompson said.