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Breaking News: Yahoo! Chairman Steps Down (4/26 2013) Featured

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Yahoo! Chair Steps Down after Serving for a Year

Yahoo Chairman Fred Amoroso, 62, is resigning. Amoroso will be replaced in the chairman role by director Maynard Webb Jr, 58, on an interim basis. Amoroso, a former IBM executive, will remain on the board of directors until the annual shareholder meeting in June. Amoroso had informed the Yahoo board when he became chairman in May 2012 that he intended to serve only one year "in order to help Yahoo during a critical time of transformation." He is the former CEO of digital entertainment company Rovi, and joined Yahoo's board in February 2012. Among other positions, he had previously served as the President, CEO and Vice Chairman of META Group, the President and CEO of CrossWorlds Software, and as GM and a member of the world-wide management committee of IBM.

Webb, who is the chairman of contact center software company, LiveOps, joined Yahoo's board in February 2012. He had formerly served as CEO for LiveOps, COO of eBay, and CIO of Gateway. For more Yahoo! Board and Exec Moves - read on...

Yahoo – A Recap of the Board and Executive Changes since early 2012

The troubled internet giant announced the appointment of their new CEO – Google’s VP, Local & Maps, Marissa Mayer, 37, around the middle of 2012. She is considered the geek behind Google’s most successful innovations, including image, book and product search, toolbar, iGoogle, Google News, and Gmail — being the company’s twentieth employee and the first female engineer.

Since taking up her job at the helm, she’s been trying to turn around the company, making high profile executive reshuffles. She joined at a time when the company had already seen a much-hyped and controversial CEO exit and a board shake-up at the beginning of 2012.

Former CEO Scott Thompson, 54, had joined the company in January in 2012 from PayPal, and while only four months on the job, and announcing big re-organization plans, he was ousted in the wake of a scandal over his embellished college degree discovered by shareholder group Third Point, Yahoo’s largest outside investor. This led to consequent board and executive resignations, and the appointment of EVP, Americas, Ross Levinsohn, 48, as iCEO.

As Mayer joined, iCEO Levinsohn, left the company. He was appointed EVP and Head of Global Media by Thompson during reorganizations in April 2012. Before that, he had been running the Americas unit of the Internet giant, joining in 2010. He is the co-founder and former Managing Director of Fuse Capital (formerly Velocity Interactive Group), an investment firm focused on digital media and communications. Formerly, he served in leadership roles at News Corp, as President and SVP/GM of Fox Interactive Media and SVP of News Digital Media.

The Board Shake-up:

 After former CEO Thompson stepped down from his role, the changes that happened at the board level:

The shareholder group that called for Thompson’s ouster, Third Point, elected four of their nominees to the board:

Daniel Loeb, 51, CEO at Third Point investment fund, who uncovered the degree scandal, is elected.

The company added Max Levchin, 36, co-founder and former CTO of PayPal and Founder of Google acquired Slide, to board.

Harry Wilson, 41, CEO of MAEVA Group, a former Treasury Department official and President Obama's Auto Industry Task Force and hedge fund executive, is elected.

Michael J. Wolf, 51, founder and managing partner of ACTIVATE, a technology and strategy firm and former President and COO of MTV Networks, is elected.

- Patti Hart, CEO at International Game Technology declared not to seek re-election. She led the CEO search while Thompson was appointed. She had joined the Yahoo board in 2010.

Two other directors who stepped down towards the end of the year were Brad Smith, 48, CEO of Intuit, and David W. Kenny, 50, CEO of the Weather Channel and former President of Akamai.

Newly appointed Director Alfred J. (Fred) Amoroso, 61, was appointed as new board Chairman. He has decided to step down after a year in the position, as menitoned above. He is the former CEO of digital entertainment company Rovi, and joined Yahoo's board in February 2012. Among other positions, he had previously served as the President, CEO and Vice Chairman of META Group, the President and CEO of CrossWorlds Software, and as GM and a member of the world-wide management committee of IBM.

- At the beginning of 2012, Chairman Roy Bostock - along with the rest of Yahoo's board - became the target of an open letter by the same shareholder group, Third Point. Their CEO, Daniel Loeb, slammed the board, saying it mismanaged the company, making "many mistakes."

Consequently, the new board members who joined by February 2012, increasing the size of the Board from ten to eleven directors:

Maynard Webb, 58, chairman of contact center software company, LiveOps, joined Yahoo's board in February 2012. He had formerly served as CEO for LiveOps, COO of eBay, and CIO of Gateway. Webb is currently named interim Chairman of the Yahoo! Board.

John Hayes, 57, CMO at American Express, joined Yahoo's board in March. Prior to being appointed as CMO, he served for eight years as American Express EVP, Global Advertising and Brand Management, responsible for brand marketing worldwide.

Peter Liguori, 51, former COO at Discovery Communications, joined Yahoo's board in March. Prior to that, he served as Chairman and President of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company. Previously, he was President and CEO of FX Networks, NewsCorp’s flagship entertainment cable network. He also served in a series of positions with HBO, including as VP, Consumer Marketing.

Thomas McInerney, 47, former CFO at media and internet conglomerate, IAC/Interactive, joined Yahoo's board in March. Formerly he was CEO of IAC’s Retailing sector. He also served as EVP and CFO of Ticketmaster and its predecessor company, Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch. He also worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley for 11 years.

Board members who declared not to stand for re-election in 2012:

Roy Bostock, 71, (Yahoo chairman): Vice Chair of Delta Air Lines; joined Yahoo board in 2003. He has served as a principal of Sealedge Investments, a diversified private investment company, and was Chairman of B/Com3, Chairman and CEO of the McManus Group, and in a variety of senior executive positions in the advertising agency business, including Chairman and CEO of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.

Vyomesh Joshi, 58, recently retired EVP, Imaging and Printing Group of HP; joined Yahoo board in 2005. He served HP for three decades and is highly respected across the industry. Under his management, HP’s high-margin printer business was the profit-engine that drove the company.

Arthur Kern, 65, co-founder and former CEO at American Media; joined Yahoo board in 1996. He has been an investor in several media and marketing companies.

Gary Wilson, 72, general partner at PE firm Manhattan Pacific Partners; joined Yahoo board in 2001. He was the chairman of Northwest Airlines, CFO of Walt Disney Company and Marriott.

- This shake-up came on the heels of resignation by company founder Jerry Yang, 43, from the board in January 2012.

The Senior Leadership Changes:


The leadership changes under new CEO Mayer -

Kenneth Goldman, 63, joined Yahoo! as CFO replacing outgoing CFO Timothy Morse, 43. Goldman joined Yahoo! from Fortinet, a provider of threat management technologies, where he served as CFO. Prior to Fortinet, Goldman spent nearly six years as SVP of finance and administration and CFO of Siebel, until the company's acquisition by Oracle. He has held CFO positions at Excite@Home, Sybase, Cypress Semiconductor and VLSI Technology.

The company hired Henrique de Castro, 47, Google's VP of Worldwide Partner Business Solutions, as its new COO, responsible for strategic and operational management of Yahoo!'s sales, operations, media and business development worldwide. Before joining Google, De Castro managed Dell's Western European sales and business development activities, and before that was a consultant at McKinsey.

New CMO Kathy Savitt, 48, was most recently founder and CEO of Lockerz, a rapidly-growing social commerce company. Prior to founding Lockerz, Savitt was EVP and CMO of American Eagle Outfitters. She replaced Mollie Spillman, who was promoted to the role for few months by iCEO Levinsohn, from her previously held position of - Head of Marketing for the Americas, who in turn had replaced iCMO Penny Baldwin. Both Spillman and Baldwin later left Yahoo!

Yahoo’s Chief Information Security Officer Justin Somaini left the company. Before Yahoo!, he was CISO at Symantec, Director, Information Security at Verisign, Managing Director at Charles Schwab and a Manager at PwC.

Jacqueline Reses, 42, has been appointed EVP of People and Development and recently added the title of Chief Development Officer. Prior to Yahoo, Reses led the US media group at PE firm Apax Partners, contributing to the firm’s talent initiatives. Previously she was CEO of iBuilding, and spent seven years at Goldman Sachs. CHRO David Windley left the giant after Mayer was named CEO. Joining him was SVP Human Resources Grant Bassett.

Ron Bell replaced Michael J. Callahan as EVP, General Counsel and Secretary. Bell joined Yahoo in 1999, and has since served in numerous senior roles within the legal department, most recently as interim general counsel, and prior to that as a deputy general counsel for 11 years.

EVP and Chief Revenue Officer, Michael Barret, 50, who was appointed to his role by iCEO Levinsohn, left the company. He is a former Google exec and Google acquired company admeld’s former CEO.

Yahoo! hired recruitment veteran Sandy Gould, most recently of the Disney/ABC Television Group, as SVP of Global Talent Acquisition and Development. At Disney/ABC, Gould led recruiting for over two years as VP Recruiting, and before that he was VP of HR for Linden Lab/Second Life, VP Executive Recruiting and Organizational Development at Real Networks, and AVP Executive recruiting at Washington Mutual.

SVP of business development and partnerships, Raymond Stern, and VP of marketing solutions, Liz Ritzcovan, left the company. Stern was hired in 2009, and has held a number of jobs in areas such as business development, audience, mobile and local. Ritzcovan has been at the company since early 2011, most currently as a VP of marketing solutions.

Meanwhile, SVP of advertising and data platforms, Scott Burke, has been promoted to the executive staff, in charge of all ad tech platforms in a continuing product overhaul at Yahoo.

Business Groups

David Dibble, 52, took charge of all of Technology division as EVP, Tech & Ops, under iCEO Levinsohn. He had earlier been named EVP, Central Tech. Group by Scott Thompson earlier in 2012 from being the EVP, Service Engineering and Ops. Prior to joining Yahoo! in 2008, David was CTO at First Data Corporation.

  • Mayer re-appointed Jay Rossiter as EVP, Platforms, who had left as SVP, Cloud Platform, earlier in 2012 under CEO Scott Thompson. He had been with Yahoo! since 2008, before which he was with Oracle for fifteen years, most recently being the VP of System Management Products Division. Prior to that, he was Development Manager at 3Com and member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories.
  • Scott Thompson had the technology division split into two groups - Core Platforms and Central Technology. Current COO, Engineering, as appointed by iCEO Levinsohn, Mark Morrissey was earlier named SVP, Core Platforms by Thompson for a short span. Over more than 6 years at Yahoo, Morrissey progressed through key engineering and product leadership positions in Search Advertising, Display Advertising, and the Search Alliance with Microsoft. Prior to Yahoo he was Director Product marketing at IBM and VP at Siebel.
  • Yahoo’s Chief Technical Officer Ashfaq Munshi left the company under Mayer, joining the company only about a year ago. He is the founder and continues to be the CEO of Terabitz. Prior to that, Ash was CEO of Level5 Networks. He founded four other Silicon Valley companies: Radiance, Vivecon, SpecialtyMD (acquired by Ventro), and Commerce Engine (became Ariba). Earlier in his career, he served as a corporate VP at Applied Materials, and VP and GM of the Enterprise Business Unit at SGI. He began his executive career at Oracle where he was director of development and marketing.
  • James Carroll, SVP of the consumer and global platform group at Yahoo, has left the company. He has been in charge of the company’s global R&D centers in China, India and the Middle East and been responsible for Yahoo’s content, social and membership platforms and the international delivery of all Yahoo! products and services worldwide. He is leaving to head international operations at Go Daddy.
  • One of Yahoo’s top women execs, Elissa Murphy, who was VP of engineering for cloud services, departed the Internet giant to become CTO and head of platform efforts at Go Daddy. Murphy has overseen a great deal of code contributions to Hadoop, a technology essential to large-scale computing, first developed at Yahoo.

As SVP of Global Media & Commerce, Mickie Rosen, leads Yahoo!’s media and commerce portfolio featuring News, Finance, Sports, Entertainment, Shine, Shopping, Autos, Real Estate, Travel, and Video; and the Yahoo! homepage ( Rosen was promoted from SVP, Media Network earlier in 2012. Prior, she was a Partner at Fuse capital, the investment firm which Levinsohn had founded.

  • The company’s Media Products Head, David Rice, VP of media properties, left to take over as SVP and GM of CBS Interactive Games. Hired in 2010, the former Microsoft exec was the key media product manager in charge of strategy and execution of Yahoo’s home page, news, sports, finance, entertainment, lifestyle, games and more.
  • Editor in chief of Yahoo News, Hillary Frey, has taken the role of editorial director of news at, which is undergoing a major refurbishment. She had been at Yahoo since late 2011. Before Yahoo, she was managing editor at Adweek, media and style editor at Politico; before that, she served as both culture editor and media editor of the New York Observer, a books editor at Salon and The Nation, and managing editor of Lingua Franca, the lauded 1990s magazine that covered academic life.

Changes by former iCEO Ross Levinsohn:

  • VP, Media Networks for Canada, Latin America and for the U.S. Hispanic market, Scott Bushman was most recently SVP of Digital at Wasserman Media Group and VP of Business Development, Content and Programming at Metacafe. He created and founded, a digital action sports extension of ESPN. Previously he served Yahoo as Senior Director, Business Development, Global Publisher Solutions.
  • VP of Global Consumer Marketing, Barbara O'Connor, left after serving the company for ten years. She was responsible for leading the marketing of Yahoo commerce and media properties, including its news, sports, finance, entertainment and lifestyles sites. Before Yahoo, she helped launch Kontiki, an enterprise video platform and enterprise content delivery networks company. John Buchanan was named Head of Consumer Marketing, formerly VP of Global Marketing at Electronic Arts.
  • Rich Cusick was named as VP of Entertainment and Women's Lifestyles to lead execution globally for Yahoo! Shine, Health, and Entertainment properties (omg!, Movies, TV and Music). Cusick most recently served as Interim GM of (a division of
  • Head of Entertainment, Sports and Games, Ken Fuchs, sees expanded role. Ken is also being charged with developing some new opportunities coming soon for Yahoo. In the meantime, Ken will continue to build on Yahoo!'s successes in sports around the world. Before Yahoo he was VP, Emerging Platforms Business Development and Partnerships at Time.

Changes by former CEO Scott Thompson:

  •  Earlier in 2012, Thompson had created Media and Commerce into separate groups, which was later merged by iCEO Levinsohn and continues to be so. Thompson had brought in his PayPal colleague and VP of Global Product and Experience, Sam Shrauger as co-head of Commerce, who left after Thompson’s ouster.

Yahoo! Connections SVP Shashi Seth has left the company. He was responsible for Yahoo! Search, Mail & Messenger, Flickr, Answers, Groups, IntoNow and other products. He was promoted to his most recent role earlier in 2012, from SVP of Search & Marketplaces. He is a former Products executive from AOL, Google and eBay.

  • Former IntoNow founder and CEO Adam Cahan was appointed as SVP of Emerging Products and Technology by Mayer, to oversee all of Yahoo’s mobile efforts, as well as its Flickr photo sharing service. Yahoo purchased IntoNow in 2011. He also founded Auditude, acquired by Adobe. He has served as EVP, Strategy and Business Operations at MTV, oversaw Business Operations at Google, was an Associate Principal at McKinsey, was Digital Director at NBCUniversal, and was Wildlife Filmmaker for National Geographic.
  • Yahoo’s SVP of engineering operations Laurence "Laurie" Mann has been picked to head the company's search efforts. Mann has been at Yahoo since 2002 and was involved in the original search deal with Microsoft.
  • Yahoo Mail Head Vivek Sharma has left the company. He has been at the Silicon Valley Internet giant since 2009 and has worked in a number of areas, including commerce and search. Earlier he has been Associate Partner at McKinsey and Sales Manager at Aditya Birla Group. 

Regional Management:

  • Rich Riley who had been promoted by Thompson as EVP, Americas from SVP and MD, Europe, left.
    • Yahoo’s SVP of North American Sales, Wayne Powers, left to become President and Group Publisher at Parade Publications. Before joining Yahoo, Powers spent 12 years at the Time Inc. division of Time Warner, leaving as President of the Time Inc. Media Group.
  • Christophe Parcot, was named SVP & MD, EMEA, by iCEO Levinsohn. He was serving in the interim, as appointed by former CEO Thompson. Before that he was Head of Sales for EMEA since 2008 joining Yahoo in 2006 from Overture.
  • No changes in APAC. SVP & MD, APAC continues to be Rose Tsou.

The recurring changes at the helm and eventual restructurings led to serious loss of talent..

Products Executive Resignations - Thompson announced 2,000 layoffs in the products organization alone.  According to AllThingsD, in April 2012  “ in a restructuring, the central product organization at Yahoo was essentially blown up, with the development moving back into media, sales and consumer products units being planned”. Blake Irving, 52, EVP and Chief Product Officer, and Bill Shaughnessy, 47, SVP of Product Management, formerly from Microsoft and at Yahoo since 2010, leave.

Resignations when Thompson joined in early 2012 - George Goldenberg, VP, Engineering and an expert in ad-serving systems, web analytics and big data. He served Yahoo for 12 years after his graduation. Two more of Yahoo’s renounced scientists also leave: Andrei Broder, VP of Computational Advertising and Chief Scientist of the Advertising Product Group since 2005 left Yahoo, to join Google. Jianchang (JC) Mao, who was VP and Head of Advertising Sciences since 2010 and a Yahoo executive since 2004, left, to join Microsoft.

 Date Range: January 1st, 2012 - April 26th, 2013

Read 34984 times Last modified on Monday, 06 July 2020 16:59
Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

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