Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned from the company’s board of Directors and all other positions with the company, effective Jan 17, 2012. In addition to that, he is also stepping down from the boards of Yahoo Japan Corporation and Alibaba Group Holding Limited. Yang’s departure announcement comes on the heels of the appointment of Scott Thompson as the new Yahoo CEO.

In a letter to Yahoo’s Board Chairman, Roy Bostock, Jerry Yang stated that he intends to pursue other interests outside the company, expressing confidence in the ability of Scott Thompson.

History: Jerry Yang co-founded Yahoo with David Filo in 1995 and was on Yahoo’s Board of Directors since March 1995. He also served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer from June 2007 to Jan 2009, before being replaced by Carol Bartz. He is also said to be responsible for turning down Microsoft’s acquisition offer of $33/share in May 2008, for which he was criticized extensively. The company shares are valued today at $15.4 which is less than half of Microsoft’s offer.

More Capital Infusion? Reuters reports that this exit may pave the way for capital infusion from private equity funds or a long rumored company sale as many shareholders reportedly felt Jerry Yang was the major roadblock in the process. Yahoo has been facing some tough times for the past year or so, as it tried to grow revenues and appease its shareholders.