Three more managers leaving Yahoo

SAN FRANCISCO — The trickle of senior executives leaving Yahoo has turned into a flood.

People close to the company confirmed on Thursday that three more senior executives — Qi Lu, Brad Garlinghouse and Vish Makhijani — were leaving. All were responsible for critical areas of Yahoo’s business.

Lu is executive vice president of the search and advertising technology group. He oversaw engineering efforts for the company’s search engine and search advertising technology.

Garlinghouse is senior vice president for communications and communities and is responsible for vital products like Yahoo Mail.

Makhijani, senior vice president for Yahoo’s search group, is leaving to become chief executive of Russia’s leading search engine, Yandex.

The three join a number of other senior managers who have departed since Yahoo announced that talks with Microsoft ended and that it signed a search advertising deal with rival Google a week ago.

In recent days, Jeff Weiner, executive vice president of Yahoo’s network division, announced that he was leaving to divide his time between two venture capital firms. Usama Fayyad, the executive vice president and chief data officer, also said he was leaving.

And last week, Jeremy Zawodny, who helped start Yahoo’s developer network and was a prominent backer of open-source software within the company, said he was leaving. Thursday, he said he was joining Craigslist. Earlier this week, Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield, the husband and wife team who founded Flickr and sold the photo sharing site to Yahoo in 2005, also said they were leaving.

A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday. Garlinghouse and Makhijani did not return calls or e-mail messages seeking comment. Other executives could not be reached.

The departures leave Yahoo’s network division, which is responsible for virtually all of the services on the Yahoo portal, without its top leader and two of his four deputies.

The sudden exodus virtually guarantees that Yahoo will announce a major reorganization, perhaps as early as next week, the people close to Yahoo said.

While the exact outline of the organizational changes is unclear, Hilary Schneider, executive vice president for global partner solutions, is expected to assume greater responsibilities, these people said.

A senior Yahoo executive who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity said a reorganization “is the worst possible thing they would do at the moment. In a time of total instability, the last thing you want to do is make people nervous about their jobs.”

The executive said he was also considering options outside of Yahoo.

Schneider, who is currently responsible for most of Yahoo’s advertising efforts and the company’s relationships with other Web publishers, is a protégé of the president Susan Decker. After joining Yahoo in 2006, she has risen quickly to the company’s top ranks.

The departure of Lu was reported earlier in the blog AllThingsD. The departures of Garlinghouse and Makhijani were reported in the blog TechCrunch.

Author:Miguel Helft

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