Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

The Attack On the Yahoo Vice Presidents: More Exec Departures

It’s starting to feel like a murder mystery over at Yahoo these days, as one vice president after another drops off the senior management rolls at the Internet giant.


Next to go are VP of Media Engineering Bharath Kadaba and the higher profile Rachel Glaser, a senior vice president of operations finance. (Both are pictured here.)

It is not clear when either will leave, although a Yahoo spokesperson said Glaser would indeed be leaving “in [20]08.” Sources said that would likely be sooner than later.

Was it Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang in the conference room with a knife? Or was it President Sue Decker in the cafeteria with a rope?

Whoever it was and for a variety of reasons (some jumping, some being pushed), there have been yet another passel of high-level executive departures of late–such as Vice President and Editor in Chief of Yahoo News, Finance and Sports Neil Budde, Marketing VP David Riemer and VP Jennifer Dulski, who headed shopping, travel, autos, real estate and local.

“They’re not saying it explicitly, but there just have been too many chiefs and not enough Indians,” said one person close to Yahoo. “This is a continuing acknowledgment of that by this effort at streamlining the executive ranks.”

That also includes not replacing execs, such as marketing chief Cammie Dunaway, who left in October, as well as reorging divisions to cut top management, such as the ouster of Vince Broady recently in the media unit.

This slimming down is a good idea, given Yahoo’s VP obesity.

Back in September, when we reported on a senior management meeting in a post called “The Attack of the Yahoo Vice Presidents,” we noted that there were about 300 VPs and several dozen senior VPs, as well as the clutch of tippy-top execs.

Yahoo is well known in Silicon Valley for having a VP-heavy culture, so we noted that the meeting would be pretty uneventful for its sheer size alone:

“So as much as I would love it if Yang gathered all the VPs in a room, split them into two tribes and declared that Yahoo’s new plan for reinvigorating itself was to conduct a corporate version of ‘Survivor,’ let us all level set our expectations.”

Well, it still has not come to that yet–drat!.

But such shedding of top execs might assuage the common complaint of Yahoo execs at all levels about the inability to launch products and services easily and to make quick decisions without fear of getting a chorus of nos from on high.