Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Sue Decker Says Buh-Bye to Jeff Weiner

BoomTown was press-ganged into attending an afternoon showing of “Kung Fu Panda” with a pair of 6-year-olds (who afterward hiii-yaaa-kicked every trash can in sight), or I would have posted Yahoo President Sue Decker’s letter to the troops she sent out today about the departure of Network division head Jeff Weiner earlier.

Actually, the movie about a misfit who conquers despite the odds would make a nice metaphor for Yahoo these days, especially if the company could be motivated to butt-kicking activity simply by a desire for tasty dumplings.

As I previously posted, Weiner’s departure from Yahoo (YHOO) was made official today in an announcement by Accel Partners and Greylock Partners, where he will become an executive in residence.

I would decode this latest letter, sent to me by several Yahoos, as usual, but it is kind of vintage Yahoo–with an all’s-well-that-ends-badly tone of most of the company’s missives of late.

So let’s just let it speak for itself:

As some of you may know, Jeff Weiner and his wife Lisette celebrated the birth of their new baby girl, Sophia, four weeks ago, and Jeff has been on a scheduled paternity leave. Over the course of his time away, Jeff and I spoke a few times as he reflected on his priorities. After careful consideration, he has decided to leave Yahoo to spend more time at home with his new family before beginning a new chapter in his career. On an interim basis, Jeff’s team will report to me as we consider how to best move the organization forward.

Over the past seven years, Jeff has played a key role in Yahoo’s expansion and transformation, holding a variety of senior management positions. His leadership of YND has been invaluable in building a strong foundation for the growth of our consumer products. Jeff has put his heart and soul into Yahoo, and we sincerely appreciate and value all of his hard work and many contributions.

In addition to acknowledging Jeff, I want to recognize all of you for the unbelievable commitment and energy that you have demonstrated over the last several months as we continue to fulfill our strategic objective to be the leading starting point on the Web. This hard work translates into our numbers. According to the just-released May comScore metrics, Yahoo continues to have the most engaged audience in the U.S., with 37 billion total minutes in time spent, and is the most visited site in the U.S., with 3.7 billion visits and an average of 26 visits per user. Yahoo’s starting points each maintained the No. 1 (Homepage, My Yahoo, Mail) or No. 2 (Search) positions in their categories, and our key content properties (Yahoo News, Sports Finance and Entertainment) are each No. 1 in their categories.

We’re making amazing progress on our product initiatives, as evidenced by a number of key launches in the last few months including Search Monkey, SearchScan, Flickr video, Messenger 9.0, COKE, Glue, Shine and continued updates to Buzz and our key anchor properties. Additionally, we have an exciting product line-up in the coming months to continue to make progress on our Open and Social initiatives.

This progress is particularly impressive considering all the distractions and uncertainty we’ve all been feeling over the past several months. I know it’s been challenging but the YND team has done an amazing job staying focused on our roadmap and delivering new products to move the business forward.

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be working closely with your leadership team to determine the best next steps for the YND strategy and organization, and I will keep you updated on our progress and decisions as they are made for the Network Division. In the meantime, thank you for your support.

I look forward to more great things ahead, and please congratulate Jeff and wish him well on his new adventures. He will be returning to the office this week and remain with Yahoo through the end of June to facilitate the transition.


Also, here’s that much more entertaining chopsticks-dumpling fight scene from “Kung Fu Panda”:

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google