Yahoo Loses CTO Ari Balogh

Yahoo’s CTO and EVP Products Ari Balogh, who joined Yahoo in early 2008, will leave the company. His last day with Yahoo will be June 3. He’s leaving for personal reasons, he told me today by phone, and won’t be taking another position in the near term.

Yahoo says they will announce Balogh’s successor shortly.

I asked Balogh about Yahoo’s product roadmap and where they need to focus in the future. He says “The key focus areas for Yahoo are pretty obvious if you look at trends. They need to continue to reinvent online experience and drive social into that online experience. You saw some of that in the fall with Communications and more recently with Yahoo Entertainment, and the tie in to devices. You’ll see us focusing on the search UI and driving innovation and ease of use in advertising.”

Here’s Yahoo’s official statement on the departure: “Ari Balogh, EVP, Products and CTO, has decided to leave Yahoo! for personal reasons. Ari plans to remain with the company until June 3 and will be working with the team to enable a smooth transition. We expect to name his replacement in the coming weeks. We thank him for his many contributions and wish him well.”

And Ari’s official statement:

“While Yahoo! has become a family to me in many ways over the last two years, I have a situation with my personal family that is difficult and has driven me to make some changes in my life. This job was my dream job, which makes this decision very hard. I have been working with Carol on a succession plan that we will roll out over the coming weeks. Yahoo! has many opportunities to touch so many people’s lives and the company is well positioned to take advantage of every one of them. I am confident that the incredible people at Yahoo! will deliver against our vision to be the center of people’s online lives.”

This is the second high level tech departure for Yahoo in as many months. In March EVP Ash Patel, one of the first Yahoo employees, announced that he was stepping down as well.