The tech industry is a pretty cordial one.
People quit companies for rivals all the time, and everyone pretty much always remains friends.
But not always. Sometimes things get nasty.
Back in October, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer hired a new COO, Henrique De Castro from Google.
When the news broke, outsiders wondered whether or not that meant Yahoo’s chief revenue officer, Michael Barrett, also from Google, would be staying with the company.
Insiders – people who have worked with both Barrett and De Castro at Yahoo and Google – didn’t wonder for a moment.
That’s because it is widely believed in the industry that Barrett and De Castro don’t like each other.
How come? We keep hearing one particular story.
Barrett joined Google in 2011 after Google acquired his startup, AdMeld, for $400 million.
But then, in the summer of 2012, Barrett’s friend from earlier days in his career, Ross Levinsohn, became the interim CEO of Yahoo.
Levinsohn approached Barrett about a job at Yahoo: chief revenue officer.
Barrett told Levinsohn something like: yes, but it’s only been a year since Google acquired AdMeld, and I haven’t completed my earnout, so I can only go if you pay me a lot.
Levinsohn, eager to get his man, found a way to pay Barrett a lot. A whole lot. More than $10 million.
Barrett agreed to go to Yahoo.
But first he had to tell his boss at Google.
His boss was, of course, Henrique De Castro.
We’ve heard from three separate sources close to Barrett that this meeting went horribly wrong.
According to these rumours, De Castro did not take the news very well.
Supposedly, he sat Barrett down, looked him in the eye and said, in his thick Portuguese accent, “You will fail. You will fail because we will crush you.”
Then, according to these same various gossipers, De Castro actually had security “march” Barrett out of the building.
So you can see why insiders assume they’ll never work with each other again.
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