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Yahoo execs leaving ahead of major reorganization

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UPDATE JUNE 20: For more details see the full story on Yahoo’s brain drain.

... talks with Microsoft ended and Yahoo signed a search advertising deal with rival Google.

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Jeff Weiner, executive vice president of Yahoo’s network division, is leaving to split his time between two venture capital firms. Usama Fayyad, executive vice president and chief data officer, is also leaving. Longtime employee and evangelist Jeremy Zawodny announced today that he was taking a job at Craigslist. Flickr founders Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield, who sold the photo-sharing site to Yahoo in 2005, recently announced their departures. And the list goes on.

‘No one is sitting there thinking, ‘I want to stay.’ The quantity and quality of people leaving is overwhelming,’ a former Yahoo said.

Just a few weeks ago it was hard to imagine what could be worse than key investors’ precipitous loss of confidence in Yahoo’s management. Now founder and Chief Executive Jerry Yang and Decker seem to have lost something even more valuable: the confidence of employees.

Former Yahoos, fiercely loyal to their old company and to Yang, are watching the stunningly rapid implosion with shock and sorrow.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may have triggered this mess, but now former Yahoos say company management is making things worse. ‘Unfortunately, these wounds seem self-inflicted,’ the former Yahoo said.

Microsoft should take its proposal to buy Yahoo’s search business to the Internet company’s shareholders, investor Mithras Capital said today in a letter to Microsoft. The firm holds 1.7 million Yahoo shares.

The software giant no longer seems to be in a hurry and is more likely to wait on the sidelines for the dust to clear.

-- Jessica Guynn

Qi Lu courtesy of Yahoo


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