Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Outbox: Yahoo Mail Head Sharma Leaves Company

According to numerous sources, Vivek Sharma, who is GM of the powerful Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger products, has left the company.

It’s not clear where Sharma — who has been at the Silicon Valley Internet giant since 2009 and has worked in a number of areas, including commerce and search — is going or what the reasons are for his departure from Yahoo.

Some sources said he clashed with CEO Marissa Mayer, who has been involved in the recent overhaul of one of Yahoo’s key consumer products, due in part to recent issues related to email vulnerability and other issues. But others said he simply wanted to move on and has a new job lined up already.

There are several other top Yahoo execs who are likely to go in the coming weeks, especially given many bonuses are awarded this month. Mayer has also been looking over her top management and wider workforce and culling it, sometimes in ways that attract national controversy and even a lawsuit.

Keeping talent and finding new blood has been an issue for the fledgling CEO. As I have previously reported, as well as others in more detail this week, she is approving all new hires herself and has put in place more stringent hiring standards at Yahoo.

Sources said she has been trying to convince a top product exec at Google to essentially replace Shashi Seth — with whom she parted ways in January — who would oversee Mail, Answers, Messenger, the homepage and possibly the media group.

In addition, her COO Henrique De Castro has a search out for a new head of the key Americas unit to man its important sales division and more in the U.S. market.

In other words, a lot of empty desks that need filling.

I have an email in for comment into Yahoo, but you know how that goes (FYI: It doesn’t).

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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