Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo's Yodel Anecdotal Blogger Will Not Be Yodeling Anymore


While Nicki Dugan (pictured here) was not one of the top execs at Yahoo, she certainly is typical of many at the company who stuck with it through many ups and downs.

No longer, according to a memo BoomTown obtained from several sources, since the longtime PR staffer–who has been at Yahoo (YHOO) for almost a decade and who was previously with an outside public relations firm that worked for Yahoo–will leave the company Monday.

Dugan has a high-profile role at Yahoo, running its Yodel Anecdotal corporate blog and penning most of the pieces on it.

It’s not clear from the memo where Dugan is headed, though the memo is full of interesting “moments” she had while at Yahoo and includes some nice historical details (including a scoop I had from Web 1.0 that I had long forgotten).

Here’s the email she sent to colleagues:

From: Nicki Dugan
Cc: Nicki Dugan
Sent: Thu Oct 29 16:35:22 2009
Subject: Fare thee well


After almost exactly 9.5 years, 10 Oktoberfest mugs, 9 founder holiday gifts, 4 cube moves, and 76 daily miles, I’ve decided to hang up my purple badge. Saying goodbye to Yahoo!–and all of you–is no easy task. It’s a rare place that can capture your heart and soul and hang onto it for about a quarter of your life. What’s made Yahoo! so special? I thought I’d rattle off some of my favorite moments:

* Jerry asking me (on my first day) if the PR team really needed another person

* Filo’s all-worldwide “get back to work” Yahoo! Greeting during my first week

* Yahoo! Surfers. Full stop.

* Risking life and limb to cross the street for a meeting when our HQ was on Kifer Road in Santa Clara

* My first earthquake, experienced working on a Saturday in Building D

* When our various business units were called “pods” (communications, communities, commerce, content)

* Our former general counsel propping his cowboy boots up on the conference table during a USA Today interview

* When Jerry and David taught Madeleine Albright how to surf the Web

* When In & Out Burger trucks provided meals during summer picnics

* Launching the world’s first Internet taxi

* When NASDAQ halted YHOO trading after Jim Hu and Kara Swisher caught wind of our Broadcast.com acquisition

* “Sleeping” under my desk the night before Analyst Day 2001 as lawyers and the deal team haggled sentence structure with SBC in our joint release

* When the cow from our lobby attracted Mennonites at NYC’s South Street Seaport

* Terry Semel doing earnings calls in his socks

* Being the stage photographer for Beck at Open Hack Day 2006

* Getting Jerry & David to sumo wrestle in the name of fighting climate change (http://bit.ly/2NIjkO)

* Tom Cruise recreating the Oprah coach moment during his Yahoo! Influentials visit

* Convincing Matt Dillon that our contract trumped his hangover at the Greenest City in America press conference in Times Square

* Flying to Burbank via a NetJet with every C-level Yahoo! executive for the Overture acquisition

* When Sue Decker rode into an all-hands at URLs on a Harley Davidson

* Meeting Al Gore at a private “An Inconvenient Truth” screening with the Yahoo! For Good team

* Breaking the world record for largest simultaneous yodel…and getting ordinary Americans to yodel their hearts out in NYC, SF and Seattle for the Yodel Challenge and Yodel Studio

* Watching mobs of Yahoo! users line up outside Baskin-Robbins stores across the country for free ice cream on our 10th anniversary

* Having Michael Arrington leave the third comment on Yodel Anecdotal when we launched (and a positive one at that!) (http://bit.ly/1Lvzrx)

* The emotional weekend spent at Skadden as we prepared to announce Terry’s resignation

* Learning how to play Faceball at Flickr HQ (http://bit.ly/4mdJ24)

* Getting Blake Jorgensen to pull off the best April Fool’s video… Evar

* Stuffing cotton into Filo’s cheeks for his cinematic debut as Don Corleone in Ari’s tech team video

* Asking Ash to dress in an orange jumpsuit to pick up trash in Filo’s cube (I’ve clearly abused Filo extensively)

* Dressing in black and leaving rubber duckies all over Google’s campus at dawn (10K+ photo views! http://bit.ly/vX8hA)

* Convincing 33 Yahoo! teams to dance with Matt “Where the Hell is Matt?” Harding all over our HQ during the Summer of Microsoft (http://bit.ly/929hT)

* Getting the Food Network to produce a “Dinner: Impossible” episode for Yahoo!’s Search’s anniversary and watching Chef Robert Irvine abuse Tuoc and Raj in the kitchen (http://bit.ly/291zsB)

* Carol’s first all-hands F-bomb

We played hard, worked harder, and drank copious amounts of purple Koolaid. And I’ll probably never quite get it out of my system. Working here through so many of Yahoo!’s phases has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m so grateful for the memories and friendships built over these many years. I look forward to watching the ‘hoo from afar.

If we don’t connect on Monday for a final farewell, please keep in touch. Employee #370 (adjusted hire), over and out.


Here’s a link to one of my favorite blogs by Dugan, which she referenced above, on dancer Matt Harding, with a video below she did by dragging him to do jigs all over Yahoo:

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— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik