Yahoo Panama Architect Hitting The Exit

    June 19, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Three more highly-placed executives decided not to stick around for Yahoo’s annual meeting; one of the executives bore responsibility for Yahoo’s Panama search marketing platform.

We’ve wondered a couple of times, in the wake of Yahoo’s ad deal with Google, how Yahoo’s Panama team could possibly stick around the company. Yahoo essentially declared Panama a failure, touting how much more money they can bring in simply by dropping Google’s AdSense for Search onto Yahoo’s search results.

TechCrunch now says Qi Lu, executive VP for search & ad technology at Yahoo, will leave the company. He was Panama’s chief architect, as Yahoo strove to develop a search ad system to approach Google’s effectiveness.

To put it mildly, that hasn’t happened. Yahoo executives expect their deal with Google to drop $800 million in annual revenue into the company. Yahoo and its Panama group tried to get a lot closer to Google in allowing relevance to dictate search placement, but it wasn’t enough.

Senior VP and general manager of search, Vish Makhijani, will head to Russia and take the position of president and CEO of Yandex.Labs in Silicon Valley, according to TechCrunch. Yahoo’s infamous Peanut Butter Manifesto author, Brad Garlinghouse, also will depart.

However, All Things D said Garlinghouse isn’t out the door yet. “He has not resigned or told his subordinates of any plans as yet,” Kara Swisher said of Garlinghouse, who feels unhappy about a pending Yahoo reorganization.