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Why Have The Yahoos Departed?

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We have seen three Yahoo executives announce departure plans in the past month, and we have to wonder why they have opted to log out of the portal company.

Why Have The Yahoos Departed?
Why Have The Yahoos Departed?

The management tree at Yahoo has been pruning itself over the past year. These past four weeks have seen Dan Finnegan, Pamela Thompson Johnston, and company CTO Farzad Nazem announce they will turn in their office keys and head for the exits.

Valleywag posted a helpful chart of the Yahoo management team, with eight ex-executives marked off the list. Those don’t include Johnston, who was a regional VP for emerging markets at Yahoo.

A couple of execs moved on after last year’s big reorganization, which divvied Yahoo’s structure into three core verticals under CEO Terry Semel. Two of the three verticals are presently leaderless. Though Nazem disclosed his departure was a long-planned retirement, Yahoo did not have a candidate ready to step in via promotion or hire to take that position. Co-founder Jerry Yang will fill in as an interim leader instead.

Lars Rabbe’s departure for a position at Intuit didn’t receive much notice until Valleywag pointed out how Yahoo’s chief information officer had moved on to the accounting software firm.

“It’s not as though all these losses were tragic, but 30% turnover at the executive level is extraordinarily high: and Yahoo’s struggling to find replacements,” said the Wag.

Some aspects of the turnover look like power struggles taking place. Finnegan left after executive VP Susan Decker placed her close associate Hilary Schneider in the slot as his boss.

Unless Yahoo’s new ad system, Panama, has some fantastic numbers ready for Yahoo’s next quarterly earnings announcement, we would be surprised if Yahoo’s institutional investors don’t ask why Semel isn’t among those heading out the door.

Why Have The Yahoos Departed?
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