Kara Swisher

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The Entire Internal Yahoo Memo on European Head Toby Coppel’s Departure

Here’s the internal Yahoo memo from President Sue Decker about the stepping down of Yahoo European head Toby Coppel, which BoomTown wrote about here.

The departure, which has been in the works for months, is not related to the recent news that Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang is also relinquishing his job as soon as the company completes its search for another CEO.

Coppel’s job covers the major Western European markets (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia), as well as Canada, for Yahoo (YHOO).

His successor will be Rich Riley, who is currently SVP of Europe’s Advertiser & Publisher Group.

Here’s the memo:

From: Sue Decker
Sent: Thu Nov 27 09:02:28 2008
Subject: Yahoo! Europe & Canada update


I want to update you on our Get Fit initiatives in Europe and Canada and to announce a leadership change for Yahoo! Europe and Canada.

Over the past 18 months, under Toby’s leadership, the Agenda2010 strategy has resulted in greater discipline, focus and stronger operating performance in Europe and Canada. There have been a number of important accomplishments and milestones in this time specifically:

  • Market share gains in our display business in all markets over the past 12 months
  • Growth in the Canadian display business of over 50% in 2008
  • Shift towards a global development approach for Front Page, Search and Mail
  • Elimination or divestiture of underperforming or non-core businesses such as Kelkoo which was sold last week
  • Increased efficiency and higher margins, including reductions in headcount, travel & entertainment and marketing costs
  • Establishment of new Switzerland HQ for greater business efficiency
  • Higher performing sales organization including a Superstar Inside Sales Team
  • Reduction in the number of layers and increase in spans of control

Now that much of this foundation has been built, Toby and I agree it’s a logical time to transition to a more focused management team in Europe. Today I am announcing that Toby will be stepping down as MD Yahoo! Europe & Canada.

I am very pleased to tell you that effective immediately, Rich Riley will assume the position of SVP, Yahoo! Europe & Canada. Toby will work closely with Rich to ensure a smooth transition and will remain with Yahoo! until the end of Q1 2009.

Rich has been with Yahoo! for almost ten years, during which he has held a wide range of roles and ever increasing responsibilities. He joined Yahoo! when we acquired the startup he co-founded which ultimately invented the Yahoo! Toolbar. From there he played important roles in corporate and business development, building and leading our U.S. small and medium business division and most recently leading our Advertiser & Publisher Group in Europe. He has worked closely with Toby and the European and U.S. leadership teams to shape the strategy and has delivered powerful results to our European business. I’m confident that Rich will be a strong and successful leader for Yahoo! Europe and Canada.

Under Rich’s leadership, Europe will continue on the path it has been on for the last year. This transition is a continuation of the Agenda2010 work that is underway.

Please join me in welcoming Rich to this new role and thanking Toby for his leadership, passion and tireless contributions to Yahoo! over the past 7 years.