The news is now official – Yahoo’s EVP Jeff Weiner has officially bailed. President Sue Decker addresses the troops in an all hands email, below. These types of emails leak regularly, of course (I actually think companies would be disappointed if they didn’t), so they tend to read like a press release.
Nevertheless, it is amazing how she can talk about the “amazing progress” at Yahoo as though she doesn’t have a care in the world. And why is this letter about such a high-level departure coming from Decker instead of CEO Jerry Yang? Oh yeah, he has other things to worry about.
The full email is below.
As some of you may know, Jeff Weiner and his wife Lisette celebrated the birth of their new baby girl, Sophia, four weeks ago and Jeff has been on a scheduled paternity leave. Over the course of his time away, Jeff and I spoke a few times as he reflected on his priorities. After careful consideration, he has decided to leave Yahoo! to spend more time at home with his new family before beginning a new chapter in his career. On an interim basis, Jeff’s team will report to me as we consider how to best move the organization forward.
Over the past seven years, Jeff has played a key role in Yahoo!’s expansion and transformation, holding a variety of senior management positions. His leadership of YND has been invaluable in building a strong foundation for the growth of our consumer products. Jeff has put his heart and soul into Yahoo!, and we sincerely appreciate and value all of his hard work and many contributions.
In addition to acknowledging Jeff, I want to recognize all of you for the unbelievable commitment and energy that you have demonstrated over the last several months as we continue to fulfill our strategic objective to be the leading starting point on the Web. This hard work translates into our numbers. According to the just-released May ComScore metrics, Yahoo! continues to have the most engaged audience in the US with 37 billion total minutes in time spent, and is the most visited site in the US with 3.7 billion visits and an average of 26 visits per user. Yahoo!’s starting points each maintained the #1 (Homepage, My Yahoo!, Mail) or #2 (Search) positions in their categories, and our key content properties (Yahoo! News, Sports Finance and Entertainment) are each #1 in their categories.
We’re making amazing progress on our product initiatives, as evidenced by a number of key launches in the last few months including Search Monkey, SearchScan, Flickr video, Messenger 9.0, COKE, Glue, Shine and continued updates to Buzz and our key anchor properties. Additionally, we have an exciting product line-up in the coming months to continue to make progress on our Open and Social initiatives.
This progress is particularly impressive considering all the distractions and uncertainty we’ve all been feeling over the past several months. I know it’s been challenging but the YND team has done an amazing job staying focused on our roadmap and delivering new products to move the business forward.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be working closely with your leadership team to determine the best next steps for the YND strategy and organization, and I will keep you updated on our progress and decisions as they are made for the Network Division. In the meantime, thank you for your support.
I look forward to more great things ahead, and please congratulate Jeff and wish him well on his new adventures. He will be returning to the office this week and remain with Yahoo! through the end of June to facilitate the transition.