Even as Facebook and Google continue to gear up for a battle for social supremacy, Yahoo's losing an important member of its social media team to a different organization. Neal Sample, the company's vice president of social platforms, is taking a job at eBay.
Sample seems to have made positive impressions on most of the people he's come into contact with over the years. On LinkedIn, for example, he's racked up over 500 connections and 13 recommendations (with a director of engineering at HP even saying he "would have loved to hire him").
Another sign that Sample's a valuable employee: Yahoo wasn't able to name an immediate replacement for him.
As for some less subjective details, Sample's Stanford-educated, once founded a company called SynectixGroup, and held the title "Chief Architect" at Yahoo before being promoted to his current position.
On to Sample's relationship with eBay, then. Starting early next month, he'll act as the company's vice president of architecture, and according to Kara Swisher, told Yahoo colleagues, "I'll be taking on a larger role and taking on new challenges and opportunities."
But all of this isn't necessarily a bad sign for Yahoo. Sample also wrote in a farewell letter, "We've made significant progress over the last six years, particularly related to the advancements of our Social and Open platforms and I know many good things will continue to come out of this team."