Although Yahoo Inc. has not made an official announcement on the matter, it has been reported that Blake Irving, chief product officer for the company, has quit. His resignation is said to have been planned ahead of Yahoo’s layoff announcement earlier this week.
Yahoo has been undergoing a massive restructuring, and the new plan will eventually eliminate the department that Irving was in charge of, as a big part of the thousands of employees that were laid off made up his former group. Adding further speculation of a general retooling of Yahoo’s leadership, co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang resigned earlier this year, and chairman Roy Bostock declared that he is one of the four board members that won’t be seeking re-election.
It’s been said that Irving was one of the chiefs who disagreed with CEO Scott Thompson’s plan for restructuring, and was specifically not too keen on the large number of layoffs with no set plan. Thompson has said that the layoffs were necessary to focus on Yahoo’s “core purpose,” and would save the company roughly $375 million. Despite the layoffs, resignations and speculation, Yahoo isn’t expected to formally say anything, until its quarterly report later in the month.
Interestingly, Irving very recently spoke of “the next web,” referring to the future of the internet, and claimed it will be driven largely by Yahoo – “I see a future where deeply personal digital experiences are easy to discover, delightful to consume, and effortless to share. If done right, it will transform the way people use the Web. When I say ‘deep personalization,’ I don’t just mean some preference controls; I mean content that is so timely, relevant and personal that it actually adds meaning to your life.” Was Irving even referring to Yahoo?