In the past 16 months, Yahoo SVP Joanne Bradford, SVP Mike Walrath, SVP Jim Schinella, SVP Scott Moore, SVP Jeff Dossett have all quit the company. Before each of these highly-regarded executives quit, they all reported to Yahoo EVP Hilary Schneider.
To find out, we spoke to Yahoo, sources close to Yahoo, and several people Yahoo asked to call us.
Reached, Yahoo’s spokesperson told us, “We honestly don’t think there is a story here.” Then Yahoo asked if we’d like to speak some executives of its choosing. We thought this was a great idea.
Here’s the word from people Yahoo asked to speak with us. These sources called us from Yahoo headquarters and used speaker phones:
- Departing Yahoo ad sales boss Joanne Bradford told us, “Hilary has led in an impeccable, high-integrity way and I don’t think I could do the job that she’s done.”
- On her relationship with Hilary, Joanne told us, “We are really a good combination. Hilary Schneider has been fantastic to me.”
- Joanne said, “I’d like to see us all be a little more supportive of each other — especially women in the Valley.”
- Reached, Jim Schinella told us he quit Yahoo because “family issues” forced him to move to the East Coast, and the commute was unlivable.
- Current Yahoo media boss, SVP David Ko told us, “Me and Hilary and Carol we’ve got a great relationship together. I’ve had a great relationship with Hilary, working with her. I’ve had a number of great bosses here working at Yahoo. And she’s one of the best.”
- Asked if Hilary micromanages — as some of our other sources allege — David answered, “I feel like I have a lot latitude to make decisions that are very strategic. I use her as a sounding board. We have a very good I would say partnership/relationship. I think it would be so hard for her to micromanage and be effective. I just don’t know how she would do that.”
Here’s the word from sources who asked us not to use their name because they did not want to damage personal and professional relationships:
- A source close to Yahoo — it’s fair to say this person “bleeds purple,” — speculates that Joanne quit because she had to report to CEO Carol Bartz through Hilary. “Joanne always felt that she should be, if not running the company, than reporting directly to Carol.”
- A second source close to Yahoo told us he wishes that had been the case, “The reality is [Joanne] should have been higher up in the arc. She’s that good. [Her departure] is a huge loss for Yahoo. She gets the market. She’s in-market. I wish she was reporting directly to Carol.”
- This second source figures Joanne left for very a very specific reason: a lot more money! He tells us, “If you take a look at when she arrived at Microsoft it’s the point at which that stock did nothing for a decade. At the point at which she got to Yahoo, the same thing. [Joining Demand Media] She’s looking at number 2 at a pre-IPO company. She’s been in this industry in a long time and she’s just looking to make a crapload of money.”
- A third source close to the situation tells us Hilary pushes people out because she takes dynamic executives and makes them middle managers. He told us, “Working for Hilary is to want to put a gun in my mouth. It’s not because I don’t like her, it’s because you become middle management.”
- This third source said the problem at Yahoo is that “you’ve got a management team who is either unfamiliar with the territory, or familiar with the territory but overly familiar with managing a declining asset.”
- A fourth source close to Yahoo said, “I don’t think it’s fair to say that anybody left because of Hilary. What Yahoo needs is more people who work as hard and as are committed as Hilary. She is fricking super smart.”
- This fourth source said that if Hilary has had to micro-manage in the past year or so, it’s because she’s had to educate Carol Bartz on the intricacies of Yahoo’s business.
- This fourth source told us, “I can only imagine that puts a whole other level of complexity on Hilary. I look at Hilary and I think everybody has their moments where they’re dealing with somebody they’re working for and they might not like something, but you look at the situation that that Hilary’s been under and that’s not normal either.”
- This fourth source says, “In all the time that I was there, it was hard to get the executive team to gel. The company is on the ropes.”
Our conclusion: We report, you decide!
'Previously, Bartz served as executive chairman of the board of Autodesk, Inc. In April, 2006, she stepped down as chairman, president and CEO of Autodesk after 14 years with the company. During her tenure, the company diversified its product line and grew revenues from $285 million to $1.523 billion in FY06.'
'Co-created the Yahoo! Internet navigational guide in April 1994 with David Filo and co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in April 1995. He served as chief executive officer of the company from June 2007 to January 2009.'
'Co-created the Yahoo! Internet navigational guide in April 1994 with Jerry Yang and co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in April 1995. Filo serves as a key technologist, directing the technical operations behind the company's global network of Web properties.'
'Mike Callahan was named as executive vice president in 2007, having previously served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Yahoo! since 2003 and has previously held the roles of Yahoo!'s deputy general counsel and assistant secretary.'
'He leads the company's Products organisation, which is responsible for the vision, strategy, design and development of Yahoo!'s global consumer and advertiser product portfolio.'
Source: www.yahoo.comhe leads the company's Products organisation, which is responsible for the vision, strategy, design and development of Yahoo!'s global consumer and advertiser product portfolio. Previously, Balogh held the role of Chief Technology Officer at Yahoo!
'He is responsible for keeping Yahoo! up and running smoothly around the clock as well as overseeing Yahoo!'s common technology services, including infrastructure, application management, and IT.'
He is responsible for keeping Yahoo! up and running smoothly around the clock as well as overseeing Yahoo!'s common technology services, including infrastructure, application management, and IT.He is responsible for keeping Yahoo! up and running smoothly around the clock as well as overseeing Yahoo!'s common technology services, including infrastructure, application management, and IT.
'Morse is responsible for the company's finance, investor relations, and mergers and acquisitions groups and plays a key role in developing the company's business strategy.'
'In this role, Russakow has global responsibility for all of Yahoo!'s customer support functions, including audience, small business, ad operations, and search network quality.'
Schneider is responsible for Yahoo!'s North, Central, and South American business including advertising sales, partnerships and programming.'
'Steele is responsible for the company's global marketing strategy and functions including brand, audience, business-to-business and regional marketing, as well as insights, global communications, policy, privacy, community affairs and related central teams.'
'The leader of Yahoo!'s global HR team, responsible for driving Yahoo!'s worldwide strategies around talent, culture and organisation effectiveness.'