Yahoo has appointed Scott Thompson as its new CEO, having fired its previous chief exec, Carol Bartz, last year.

Thompson, lately president of PayPal, will take over the top spot at Yahoo on 9 January, while acting CEO Tim Morse will go back to his role of chief financial officer.

"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," Scott Thompson said in a statement that was in no way written by a PR and marketing team.

Speed racer

"Clearly, speed is important," he added. "But we will attack both the opportunity ahead and the competitive challenges with an appropriate balance of urgency and thoughtfulness. I cannot wait to get started."

The ousting of Bartz led many to suspect Yahoo was on the verge of being sold, with everyone from Google to Microsoft sniffing around a potential deal but no official buyer has emerged thus far.

Young whippersnapper Bing is very close to overtaking Yahoo in the search engine stakes, with stats from ComScore showing that Microsoft's product is just 0.1 per cent behind.