Jerry Yang's Journey: From Co-Founding Yahoo to Internet Icon

Jerry Yang's Journey: From Co-Founding Yahoo to Internet Icon
Jerry Yang's Journey: From Co-Founding Yahoo to Internet Icon

Imagine a time when the internet was like a wild jungle, with information scattered everywhere. People struggled to find their way through this online wilderness.

This ocean of information required organizing and arranging. This requirement gave a spark in the mind of Jerry Yang who along with his friend decided to create something amazing to make sense of the chaos.

They built Yahoo, a magical place on the internet where you could find everything you needed – from news to funny cat videos!

Let’s look at the journey of Jerry Yang which led to the founding of Yahoo.

Jerry Yang - Biography

Name Jerry Yang
Birthplace Taipei, Taiwan
Born November 6, 1968
Nationality American
Education Master of Science, Stanford University
Position Co-founder
Net worth $2.6 billion

Jerry Yang - Early Life
Jerry Yang - Career
Jerry Yang - Personal Life
Jerry Yang - Yahoo
Jerry Yang - Personal Investments
Jerry Yang - Partner Investments
Jerry Yang - Awards and Recognitions
Jerry Yang - Philanthropy
Jerry Yang - Interesting Facts

Jerry Yang - Early Life

Jerry's childhood was a blend of traditional values and an appetite for exploration. Yang was born in Taiwan and later relocated to the United States. He completed his education at Sierramont Middle School and Piedmont Hills High School. He later earned his Bachelor's degree in Science and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

While studying at Stanford, he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Jerry's childhood was full of curiosity and experiments, setting the stage for him to later become a big-shot entrepreneur in Silicon Valley.

In an interview, while talking about his career path, he says “My ability to rely on math and science as my strengths during the early years as an immigrant probably ended up helping me choose my future career path.”

Jerry Yang - Career

Jerry didn’t seem to have a planned roadmap for his career. He graduated from Stanford in 1990 as an electrical engineer and joined a Ph.D., not as a matter of choice but more of a compulsion since he couldn’t land a desirable job after graduating.

It was during their Ph.D. days that he met his business partner David Filo.

They co-created an Internet website called "Jerry and Dave's Guide to the World Wide Web" with David Filo in 1994. This website consisted of a directory of various other websites.

Later, they gave it the acronym Yahoo! for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.” Yahoo became very popular and they started realizing the business potential of Yahoo. Together they co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in 1995 and dropped out of their doctoral program.

He served as the CEO of Yahoo from 2007-2009. Years later, amidst a few twists, turns & criticisms, Jerry stepped down as the CEO of Yahoo and remained on the board of directors. Later in 2012, Jerry completely left the company along with resigning from its board of directors. After that, Yahoo! hired Marissa Mayer as CEO and president in 2012.

Yang established AME Cloud Ventures in 2012, a venture innovation company that makes investments in seed-stage to later-stage tech businesses. Through this investment company, Yang has funded more than 50 startups, including Evernote, Wattpad, and Tango.

Jerry Yang's connection with Alibaba is a notable chapter in his post-Yahoo career. In 2005, Yahoo made a strategic investment in Alibaba, a Chinese E-commerce and technology giant founded by Jack Ma. This investment proved to be immensely lucrative over the years.

Jerry Yang has also held many other responsibilities as an investor & advisory board member at Sarcura, an investor at Birdeye, and a general partner at HCVC.

Tradition of Innovation: Jerry Yang, Yahoo!

Jerry Yang - Personal Life

Yang was born in Taiwan. His parents were English teachers. After his father passed away when he was two, he immigrated to the U.S. with his mother and brother.

Jerry Yang currently lives in California. He met his wife, Akiko Yamazaki, at Kyoto University and they got married in 1997. They have two children.

Jerry Yang - Yahoo

When founded Yahoo was a great sensation. Yahoo! wasn't just a website, it was like a friendly guide in the vast world of the web.

Initially conceived as a web directory, Yahoo evolved into a multifaceted platform offering services such as search, email, news, and more. Yahoo! acquired various companies such as Rocketmail and, which subsequently became Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Games, respectively.

Yahoo was one of the first wizards who made the web a more fun and organized place for all of us!

Jerry Yang - Personal Investments

Jerry has made some significant personal investments:

Announced Date Organization Name Lead Investor Funding Round Money Raised
May 24, 2023 Semafor - Seed Round $19 million
March 16, 2023 Fairmatic - Series B $46 million
September 20, 2022 Somewear Labs - Series A $13.7 million
September 1, 2022 - Pre Seed Round -
August 31, 2022 Fairmatic - Series A $42 million
July 29, 2022 FiscalNote - Post IPO Equity $100 million
June 17, 2022 Hebbia No Series A $30 million
March 16, 2022 Clockwork Systems - Series A $21 million
February 8, 2022 Rewire - Venture Round $25 million
August 12, 2021 Kojo - Series B $33.3 million

Jerry Yang - Partner Investments

In addition to his personal investments, Jerry has also made investments as a partner:

Announced Date Organization Name Investor Name Lead Investor Funding Round Money Raised
August 16, 2023 Caden AME Cloud Ventures - Series A - Caden $15 million
April 5, 2023 Ronbow AME Cloud Ventures - Series A - Ronbow $10 million
November 30, 2022 Caden AME Cloud Ventures - Seed Round - Caden $6 million
November 30, 2022 Giraffe360 AME Cloud Ventures - Series A - Giraffe360 £13.2 million
November 17, 2022 Sarcura HCVC Yes Seed Round €7.1 million
August 23, 2022 Nitra HCVC - Seed Round $16 million
September 7, 2021 SalaryBox AME Cloud Ventures - Seed Round $4 million
June 8, 2021 Gideon HCVC - Gideon $32 million
May 5, 2021 Vida Health AME Cloud Ventures - Series D - Vida Health $110 million
April 22, 2021 Boundless AME Cloud Ventures - Series - Boundless $25 million

Jerry Yang - Awards and Recognitions

Here are some prominent awards and recognitions for Jerry Yang:

  • He was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35 in 1999.
  • Yang was enlisted in the Forbes World’s billionaires list in 2023.

Jerry Yang - Philanthropy

Jerry Yang and his wife are also known for their philanthropy:

  • In 2007, they donated $75 million to Stanford University, their alma mater, $50 million of it was contributed to the “Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building”, a multi-disciplinary research, teaching, and lab building for sustainable architecture principles.
  • In 2017, they pledged $25 million to San Francisco's Asian Art Museum, the largest gift in the museum's history.

Jerry Yang - Interesting Facts

Here are some interesting facts about Jerry Yang:

  • Yang was a former Chinese calligraphy student. He has a collection of 250 works of ancient Chinese calligraphy from the Ming and Qing eras.
  • The only word in English Yang knew when he came to the US was “shoe.”

David Filo: Co-Founder Of Yahoo | David Filo & Jerry Yang
Yahoo! The earliest web portal was founded by David Filo & Jerry Yang. Know the story of David Filo, his biography, and the growth story of Yahoo!


Who are the founders of Yahoo?

Jerry Yang and David Filo founded Yahoo.

Who is the current CEO of Yahoo?

Jim Lanzone is the current CEO of Yahoo.

How much did Verizon pay for Yahoo?

Verizon acquired Yahoo for $4.5 billion in 2017.

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