Another Former Microsoft Exec to Yahoo, Joining Other Ex-Softies

Published on September 9, 2010
by Kara Swisher

Is it just BoomTown, or is it odd that the new leaders of Yahoo are suddenly all the old Microsoft guys whom once high-flying Yahoo execs bested soundly back in the day?

I love digital irony!

In any case, Yahoo (YHOO) just hired yet another former Microsoft exec–this time, John Matheny (pictured here), whose last job at the software giant was as the GM of its Windows Phone App Studio.

He is now SVP of Yahoo’s communications products and communities unit.

Yahoo confirmed the appointment of Matheny after I called for comment.

According to his profile on LinkedIn, Matheny was also GM of Premium Mobile Experiences and MSN Platforms & Services at Microsoft (MSFT).

He was a key exec for the Kin, the smartphone effort that was shuttered by Microsoft right after its launch. Matheny was most recently working on the new Windows Phone 7 team.

At Yahoo, he seems to be replacing Jason Titus, who left Yahoo recently, in what now appears to be a major reshuffling of the staff by new Chief Products Head Blake Irving.

A former high-ranking Microsoft online exec, Irving has been putting several ex-colleagues in place at Yahoo, as he firms his grip on the organization.

That includes hiring Bill Shaughnessy, who is now SVP of Product Management at Yahoo.

The continuing churn in the leadership ranks is causing increasing distress inside reorg-weary Yahoo, according to many execs I have spoken to recently.

But at least in this case it’s an arrival, rather than yet another departure, as Yahoo struggles to right itself and re-establish a culture of innovation.

My guess for the next Softie to move to the ’Hoo: Brian Arbogast, Corporate VP of Mobile Services, who seems to have just left Microsoft. Arbogast was, of course, a close colleague of Irving’s at Microsoft.

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