Executives to Lead Exodus From Yahoo?


Source: Reuters

A number of senior Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) executives are leaving the Web company as it looks to improve earnings and convince investors it is worth at least as much as a bid it rejected from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), reports said on Thursday.

Yahoo President Sue Decker is also considering a reorganization that would centralize Yahoo mail, search and home page divisions into a global product organization, The Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.

Yahoo declined to comment on the reports, and it was not clear whether the reported reorganization was in response to the executive moves or the other way around.

TechCrunch on Thursday reported that three executives were leaving Yahoo, including Brad Garlinghouse, known for a 2006 “Peanut Butter Manifesto,” memo which called for a radical overhaul of the company.

Garlinghouse oversaw services including e-mail and instant messaging. In the famous memo, he said the company was spreading itself too thinly over various opportunities, like a layer of peanut butter. “I hate peanut butter,” he wrote.

Vish Makhijani, general manager of Yahoo’s Web search business, and Qi Lu, the top engineer for Yahoo’s Panama search marketing platform, also were leaving the company, said TechCrunch, which put together a spreadsheet of defections.

Yahoo said at the beginning of the week that Jeff Weiner, recently executive vice president of the network division, had left to work at venture capital firms.

Yahoo turned down a $47.5 billion takeover offer from Microsoft, and then a follow-up alternative deal with the software maker, in favor of an agreement for Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to sell search ads on its site.

It is now locked in a proxy battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who launched a campaign in May to replace the company’s board after the failure of Microsoft’s bid.

The Journal said Decker wanted to improve coordination between product teams and global sales groups, but gave few details. Some reorganization details could be announced next week, it said.

Yahoo has been trying to make its various services work better together. It also wants to build so-called social networking into products, reflecting the need to catch up with relative upstarts such as Facebook.

Yahoo did not respond directly to requests for confirmation about executives’ departures, but said in a statement it had a “deep and talented management team.”

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