Yahoo Cans Top Ad Exec Days Before A Sizeable Bonus

michael katz interclick yahoo

Yahoo has parted ways with Michael Katz, an executive it brought into the company when it bought the company he cofounded, Interclick, for $270 million last year.

After the acquisition, Interclick was re-branded as Yahoo’s Genome division.

Katz ran it until Friday, his last day at Yahoo.

According to Kara Swisher, who broke the news of Katz’s departure, Katz was just days away from a big 12-month retention bonus.

It doesn’t sound like Katz is happy about that.

In a memo to his former Interclick employees, Katz writes: “Leaving Y! is not the hard part — how it happened and leaving all of you is what makes this difficult.”

Yahoo’s ad sales organisation is undergoing a major re-org under new boss, COO Henrique De Castro.

Here’s Katz’s thoughtful memo, via Swisher:

Friends and Colleagues,

6 years ago if someone would have told me that the hardest part about building a business would be to one day say goodbye, I would not have believed them. As some of you are starting to learn, my last day with the company will be today. Leaving Y! is not the hard part — how it happened and leaving all of you is what makes this difficult. I will miss the daily interactions and will take with me the many memories. This has honestly been so much fun.

I have learned a lot along the way:

Sometimes winning looks like losing. If you don’t fail, you can’t progress and the stakes only get bigger as you go further down your path.

Be genuinely happy for those that are successful at reaching their goals. If you spend anytime wishing it were you, it will never be.

Stay humble, and never declare victory.

Approximately correct is better than definitely wrong. Do not let perfection be the enemy of excellence.

We are all human — we may make mistakes, we must forgive, forget, and move on together.

Treating people right is not an option.

Treat adults like adults and they will behave like adults. Rules are for children.

People and culture are everything. It’s about so much more than free food and parties, it cannot be forced and without it a business cannot succeed.

I consider myself so very lucky to have known a handful of loyal friends that took a chance, quit their jobs and risked a lot to build this business with me. Their loyalty and hard work helped interclick get off the ground and for that I will forever be grateful. The team they helped to build has truly made this the greatest place to work. Each and every one of you made interclick the very best company to work for.

I would like to leave you all with a reminder of what together we built:

– A company that started with $27,000 and sold for $270,000,000

– A company that redefined the way that marketers think about audience targeting and data

– A company that went public in 2009 on NASDAQ defying all odds

– A company that spit in the face of adversity early in 2011 and came out victorious

– A company whose people are the future of this organisation.

So be proud of what together we achieved, look back and know you were part of something big. Then look ahead and know that this is just the beginning, we will all one day build again. For those of you that continue your career at Y!, I ask that you don’t lose sight of greatness. Remember what you are capable of and continue to make me proud.

Thank you for your loyalty, passion, dedication, and collaboration. The finish line is only the beginning of a new race.