Jerry Yang ’90 M.S. ’90 was elected on Jan. 15 as chair of the Stanford Board of Trustees and will succeed Jeff Raikes ’80, who has served as chair since 2017. Yang, who has served on the Board for over a decade and is currently the vice chair, will assume the position — a two-year term — on July 1. Raikes will remain on the board after Yang’s appointment.
“I’m humbled and honored to serve my fellow trustees and to work with Stanford’s exceptional leadership and faculty members,” Yang told Stanford News.
Raikes told The Daily that Yang’s experience in “founding and leading several Silicon Valley companies,” along with a “deep knowledge of and commitment to Stanford,” make him an ideal choice as chair of the Board. Raikes also pointed out Yang’s “humble beginnings” as an immigrant make him acutely aware of the value of education.
“His life experiences have created a global mindset, critical to seeing the opportunity of Stanford’s purposeful impact for the world,” Raikes wrote.
Yang and his wife, Akiko Yamazaki ’90, have a history of supporting the University. Most notably, the two pledged $75 million dollars to the University in 2007, $50 million of which went to the construction of the Yang and Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building, better known as Y2E2. Raikes told Stanford News that Yang and Yamazaki have a broad range of interests that reflect “the interdisciplinary nature of the University itself.”
Nearing the end of his term as chair, Raikes wrote in an email to The Daily that serving Stanford has been an honor, calling it an institution that has transformed his opportunities in life.
Raikes told The Daily that his fondest memories as chair come from the “dedicated university leadership and the 30 or so trustees I serve with — all volunteers committed to create the opportunities for future generations that they were presented as Stanford graduates.”
A Taipei immigrant and Bay Area native, Yang graduated from Stanford with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering. He went on to co-found Yahoo! with classmate David Filo M.S. ’90. In 2012, Yang resigned from the board at Yahoo! and founded AME Cloud Ventures, which has funded late stage Silicon Valley startups like Evernote and Wattpad.
In addition to his work with AME Cloud Ventures, Yang sits on the boards at Alibaba, Workday and Lenovo.