Yahoo’s VP of Search Technology Sean Suchter — “I run Yahoo’s web search engine,” reads his LinkedIn profile — tells us he’s leaving the company and joining Microsoft.
A Valleywag’s tipster says Schuster’s departure means “the end of Yahoo search.” We think that’s a bit overdramatic. Yahoo (YHOO) search is more popular than Microsoft (MSFT) search because Yahoo.com is a very popular home page — not because it’s better search technology. (Is it, even? Who knows is our point.)
Nevertheless, judging by Valleywag’s tipster, it does sound like Microsoft may have plucked a very popular engineering leader:
Everyone in the office is shocked. I’ve been on the Yahoo Search team for a while and he is the one key executive that it all depends on. If Microsoft has convinced him to leave and join them, they won’t need to buy Yahoo Search. We will just all join Microsoft anyway. I am definitely going to send him my resume.
Valleywag’s also obtained a memo, which we’ve pasted below.:
From: Tuoc Luong
Date: 11/18/08 3:43 PM
To: Yahoo Search Team
Unfortunately, I have to give some bad news to you. Sean Suchter has resigned. Sean’s last day will be December 19th.
Some of you will find this news shocking given that Sean has been a Gibraltar rock at Yahoo and in particular for the Search team. . I understand this.
I will point out that we’re on a good trajectory. We’ve released some good products and capabilities and the industry is beginning to take notice. We’ve closed the gap in Algo relevance and making great strides in building the next generation differentiated search experience and step function in relevance – not to mention infrastructure overhaul that prepares us for the future.
I came here to take on Google because I believe Yahoo above all is best positioned to take the battle to Google. I think we’re on the right path to changing the tide and would love to see everyone make the journey but I respect Sean’s personal decision. I’m committed to continue the battle against Google as long as Yahoo positions Search to be competitive (and I believe we are). I hope each and all of you feel the same way and stand with me to battle Google.
I’ve asked Arnab to step up and take over Sean’s role as head of YST. Just as Sean has been a strong arm for me, Arnab has been a strong arm for Sean. Although Sean casts a large shadow, I believe Arnab will step up to fill the hole with your support. Arnab will cast his own shadow as the new leader of YST and it’s the same YST team that has deliver great products like Search Assist, Secure Scan, SearchMonkey, BOSS, numerous MLR and QRW release to close the GAP in core relevance.
Sean and Arnab have been communicating to the YST leaders about the changes. Arnab has been thinking and discussing the new organisation with people. He will send out an e-mail describing his organizational thoughts and plan for YST soon. I believe with the support of other leaders (myself, Bharat, Yongdong, Nam, ..etc), Arnab will fill the void and continue the battle with Google. I urge everyone to support Arnab in his new endeavour.
Tomorrow, I’ll be holding an all managers meeting to discuss the changes and Q&As.
Please wish Sean the best in his future endeavour and congratulate Arnab in his new role.
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