Yahoo Shake-Up – Bartz and Schneider emails amid the turmoil

September 30, 2010

Bartz5Yahoo confirmed news of a departure tri-fecta, in which Hilary Schneider, EVP of the  Americas, David Ko, SVP Audience, Mobile and Local, North America, and Jimmy Pitaro, VP Media, all jumped ship.

In addition to telling the public, Yahoo also decided it was time to communicate with its staff (most of whom learned about the departures from the AllThingsD blog post that broke the news). Chief executive Carol Bartz and Schneider both sent out internal memos to the troops on Thursday afternoon, copies of which were obtained by Reuters.

The first email, from the desk of Carol Bartz:

Carol from the foxhole here. No, actually I’m in Atlanta to give a speech later tonight, and doing some client meetings.

But I’m sure you’ve seen the rumors about Hilary Schneider, David Ko, and Jimmy Pitaro leaving. Yes, they’re leaving, but each for different reasons that suit their life – and Hilary will send a separate note to her team with more about the Americas org. later today.

After nearly four years with Yahoo!, Hilary has decided to move on to the next phase in her career. Hilary has played a major role at Yahoo! in driving our strategies for content, online advertising and more. I want to thank her for her contributions over the years, and wish her the best as she moves on.

We expect to announce the new head of the Americas region before the end of the year. There is a lot of interest in joining our team for such a key position and, in the meantime, Hilary will stay on to help with the transition.

Now, you all know we’ve been intensely focused on improving our operations and top line growth. And we’ve seen good progress. But there’s a lot more to do, and as we transition to a new leader for the Americas we’re taking this opportunity to double down on these efforts. Hilary’s successor will clearly be maniacally focused on growing our top line in the region.

So everyone stay calm – we have a good plan in place. In fact, I’m more fired up than ever and can roll with the punches. Yahoo! is a great place.

Carol

And here’s the internal email from Hilary Schneider:

Team,

I’m sure by now you’ve all had a chance to read Carol’s note, and know that I’ve made the decision to move on to the next stage of my career. When I joined Yahoo! four years ago, I knew it would be an amazing and rich experience… and it has exceeded every expectation. Our consumers look to Yahoo! as they navigate their lives, our advertisers look to Yahoo! for leadership, and publishers look to Yahoo! for our amazing scale and reach. Our team, however, is our secret weapon!

Meanwhile, the search for my successor is underway and I will continue to lead our team until we make the transition.

Additionally, David Ko, SVP of Audience and Mobile, and Jimmy Pitaro, VP of North America Media, have decided to leave Yahoo!. David and Jimmy are amazing leaders and we will miss them. Yahoo!’s leadership positions in Sports, News, Entertainment, Finance and Mobile are their legacy that we have to proudly continue.

Raymond Stern will be the new SVP of North America Audience, and will be responsible for the Audience teams. Raymond has been an integral part of the Americas leadership team as the SVP of Business Development and Partnerships. Before joining Yahoo! a year ago, he held a wide range of business and leadership positions, including more than 10 years as a Partner at the Boston Consulting Group where he ran the Technology and Media Practice on the west coast. He also held senior leadership roles at Intuit, including CMO.

Raymond will immediately start diving in to the Audience business, and David and Jimmy are committed to working with Raymond through the transition. Right now, Raymond will continue overseeing the business development and partnership teams while we think through the best structure for these teams moving forward.

I know that transitions can create swirl – but our customers, both consumers and marketers, are looking to us for continued leadership … and I know we can deliver this.

You are Yahoo!’s magic, and I thank you

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