Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Elissa Murphy, One of Yahoo’s High-Profile Tech Execs, Heads to Go Daddy as CTO (Memo Time!)

One of Yahoo’s top women execs, Elissa Murphy, who is VP of engineering for cloud services, is departing the Silicon Valley Internet giant to become CTO and head of platform efforts at Go Daddy, said sources.

It’s the second talent raid on Yahoo by the company’s former product head Blake Irving, who is now CEO at one of the world’s biggest Web hosting and domain registration companies. A few weeks ago, he grabbed James Carroll, who was SVP of the consumer and global platform group at Yahoo and who is now running international efforts at Go Daddy.

Murphy is perhaps the highest-profile woman within the tech ranks at Yahoo — besides its CEO Marissa Mayer — and is very well regarded within the company and outside it, too, for her computing expertise. She has overseen a great deal of code contributions to Hadoop, a technology essential to large-scale computing, first developed at Yahoo.

She is leaving the employ of platform head Jay Rossiter, for whom Carroll also worked.

Both Murphy and Carroll had first been hired into Yahoo by Irving.

(Update: Go Daddy confirmed the move, saying she will start May 6 as CTO and EVP of platforms there. “Elissa Murphy is more than just a top ‘woman’ in technology, she’s a top ‘person’ at the top of her field,” said Irving in a statement. “Elissa just plain rocks.”)

She seems to, as currently featured on a Yahoo careers page that touts “stories from our most valuable assets.”

Read the deservedly effusive text about her: “Yahoo!’s ability to retain a fun, startup-like feel is what attracted Elissa Murphy to Yahoo!. The VP of Engineering for Cloud Services says that this unique combination makes for a creative, yet fast-paced environment that is unlike anything else in the industry. ‘You want to build cloud systems but you want to do it quickly? This is the place you want to come to.'”

I have emails into all for comment.

But here’s Murphy’s classy memo to the troops on her departure, in which she praises Mayer, so we don’t need Yahoo PR to return our email for comment:

TITLE: So long!

Hi all,

I’m writing you today to share that I’ve just resigned my position as head of Cloud Services and Hadoop at Yahoo! to pursue a new venture. The time I’ve spent working and learning with you has been wonderful, and it’s not easy to say goodbye. I have, however, been presented with a truly unique opportunity to expand my scope of impact at a company with indomitable spirit, brimming with passion and hell-bent on changing the world.

From my first experience programming a PET computer in 4th grade and throughout my career, I’ve been captivated by the potential for technology to transform people’s lives. In my time with Yahoo!, it’s been adrenalizing to push the limits on one of the world’s largest-scale cloud infrastructures — opening the door for new advances in machine learning and predictive analytics. When I look back on the achievements I’m most proud of during my time here they all center on people and innovation. I am proud to have played a role in making Yahoo! a leading voice in Hadoop by launching the next generation of Hadoop at scale. I am proud that in less than a year alone we’ve been able to accomplish more with Hadoop, Storm, OpenStack and our NoSQL stores than many thought possible. I am proud that we continue to fight for open source and open ecosystems, even as those around us profit from further locking them down. And I am proud to have helped lead the effort to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps, to get back up, and to remind the world that Yahoo! still has a place in their hearts and homes.

But most of all, I am proud to have worked with so many smart and talented people. I feel honored to call so many of you friends, and I thank you all for the opportunity to work alongside you. If you want to connect, you can find me at here.

I want to give a special thanks to Marissa, who has brought a thoughtfulness and determination to Yahoo! that promises new hope for our culture. Marissa, I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated your sponsorship and counsel, and for your support as I move forward. I believe Yahoo’s brightest days are still ahead with you at the helm, and I’ll be watching and cheering for your success in the years to come.

So long everyone — I hope our paths cross in a future more near than distant!



[Photo from Yahoo Careers Web site]

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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