Kara Swisher

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Yahoo’s Europe Head Riley Steps Down, but Expects to Remain at Company

Earlier this week, Rich Riley — the nattily dressed SVP and managing director of Yahoo’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region — sent an email to his staff that he was stepping down from that top role at the company.

But, unlike other high-ranking execs who have departed the Silicon Valley Internet company of late, Riley wrote: “I sincerely hope to remain with Yahoo! once the transition is complete and am working with [CEO Scott Thompson] and team to find my next big challenge.”

Leave it to Rich to be novel! (My sincere hope is that he’ll be bringing those slim-cut Zegna blazers to Yahoo’s Sunnyvale HQ.)

Here’s the entire Riley goodbye-to-Europe email below:

Hey Team,

I wanted to quickly update you on my personal plans. After an amazing 4+ years in London and Geneva, my wife and I have decided that it’s time to bring our European adventure to a close and move on to our next phase back in the US. We plan to move by the end of the summer in time for the kids to start the school year. As a family, we can’t believe we are going to leave such an amazing place, but those timeless forces of being close to family have led us to the conclusion that it’s time for us to move back. Professionally, I will find it so hard to say goodbye to this amazing team and this impressive business that we’ve built together.

Over the past four years we’ve fundamentally turned around this region. We figured out how to grow revenue and be a leading seller of display advertising and are now taking share in nearly every market in which we operate. We figured out that we had to get onto global product platforms to compete and that transition is nearly complete and our audience metrics are at all-time highs and growing rapidly. We figured out that there were huge opportunities in expansion markets and the Middle East and have executed against them. But most impressively to me by far is the team that we have assembled. A team that from country to country is seen as among the strongest in the market and has the highest morale of any team at Yahoo! I am very proud of this team and will miss you most of all.

The reason for communicating this now is that we need to start the search for my successor. We will search internally and externally with a clear mandate to find an amazing leader that can take our great business to the next level and grow revenues to $1 billion and beyond … The future for the EMEA Region is going to be fantastic.

As for me, I sincerely hope to remain with Yahoo! once the transition is complete and am working with Scott and team to find my next big challenge.

Until then, I’m 100% focused as always and we’ll have plenty of chances to say goodbye. It has been a true honor to work with all of you.

Best,

Rich


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work