Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Hey, Big Spender: The Goodbye Memo From Yahoo PR Head Jill Nash

It looks like Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is going to have to up the ante to keep BoomTown from getting its mitts on the company’s internal memos.

Earlier today, this column broke the news that Yahoo’s head of communications, Jill Nash, was headed out the door for destinations unknown.

In addition, I mentioned in the post that Bartz had been dangling cash rewards to Yahoos to turn in other employees who leaked information.

Good gracious–Yahoo (YHOO) has become like “Oz,” except for the free lattes!

Well, she has to do better than the $1,000 bounty she mentioned in a recent email to staff, since I got sent the memo sent out by Nash to staff about her departure in its entirety pretty quickly.

Here it is:

Subject: Jill news……..

After an extraordinary two years with Yahoo!, I want to let you know that I’ve decided to leave the company. In many discussions with Jerry over the past six months, I made a personal commitment to work with him to see Yahoo! through the transition to new leadership. Not only has Jerry been a tremendous professional partner, he’s been a true friend as well. Now that we have Carol Bartz, our terrific new CEO in place, the time is right for me to step out and find my next challenge. My last day with Yahoo! will be February 20th, and I’ll spend the next few weeks working with our team on a transition plan.

To say that we’ve faced some challenges together is an understatement! I’ve honestly never seen a communications team tested the way that we’ve been. And yet, we’ve accomplished a lot together:

  • We created a global Crisis Communications capability that’s been called upon time and again.
  • We launched a Public Affairs group that’s proven invaluable to Yahoo! in navigating difficult global issues–from human rights to privacy.
  • We expanded our Employee/Leadership communications capabilities.
  • We developed our first ever Analyst Relations program that has significantly moved the needle in the breadth and depth of our relationships.
  • We launched a global consumer communications effort to help drive traffic to our sites and we’re now regularly featured on the shows like Today, Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show, etc.
  • And perhaps most importantly, we’ve worked together to create an integrated, top-notch team, that’s never failed to deliver kick-ass results.

What’s doubly impressive is that these results have been accomplished in the midst of the unsolicited offer from Microsoft, a proxy battle, two CEO changes, an anti-trust fight and multiple global policy issues.

When times are tough, your jobs are much more difficult, but also much more important. And throughout this, you’ve consistently shown that you are more than up to the task. I can’t tell you enough how proud I am of the work you’ve done and continue to do.

I leave knowing Yahoo! has the right leader to help the company navigate today’s challenges. I’m also confident that Yahoo! couldn’t have a better team of communications professionals to support Carol.

Wherever my future leads, know that I’ll be cheering for Yahoo! and all of you.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus