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Monday, October 01, 2007, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

Steve Jobs trotted out to motivate Yahoo! execs

In a move that reportedly resonated well with many of Yahoo's top brass, chief executive Jerry Yang on Friday did his part to revitalize sagging morale at the search giant with an exec-level meeting that included a surprise motivational speech by Steve Jobs as one of its highlights.

Yang, who called Jobs one of his "heroes," was admittedly nervous as he sat down to interview the Apple chief amongst some 300+ Yahoo executives who he was hoping to inspire and set forth on a new path towards success and innovation.

The basic message that Jobs delivered was that Yahoo — a company with one of the largest Internet user bases — can do and achieve anything. Like Apple, he explained, Yahoo retains some incredibly valuable assets, but now must focus on execution.

Among the other key focuses of the meeting laid out by Yang and other Yahoo executives were "the building out of Yahoo’s ad network, taking advantage of its 'consumer insights'; the creation of a healthier corporate culture where fresh ideas could bubble up more effectively and be launched with less agony; and a new move to create a more open network a la Facebook on Yahoo for third-party developers to publish on and create more robust offerings."

While many were reportedly dubious of the latter and Yahoo's ability to open itself up, the meeting was deemed a resounding success with several of the company's vice presidents returning to their jobs "feeling jazzed up and ready to rumble."