Marissa Mayer's First Major Hire, Yahoo COO Henrique De Castro Is Out

Henrique de castro yahoo cooGoogleHenrique De Castro

Yahoo COO Henrique de Castro is leaving Yahoo, effective January 16, according to Yahoo.

De Castro was the first major hire by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

He was lured to Yahoo from Google with a four-year $US62 million pay package. He was at Yahoo for only a little over a year, but it looks like he’s still going to collect ~$60 million.

His job at Yahoo was to fix the company’s relationship with big agencies to get Yahoo’s ad business cranking again. From the moment he was hired, sceptics warned that he wasn’t going to work out.

An ex-senior Googler, told us at the time: “[Henrique] is very smart, but he has a difficult personality; both his teams and his clients dislike him.”

Our source added, “He has no experience whatsoever running any kind of a real ad salesforce, let alone a 1,000+ team selling experiential media into brand buyers.”

Another person said that he was the wrong fit for the Yahoo job. This person said, “If he came in and didn’t have to talk to a client and hired just ex-McKinsey people and brought that kind of discipline, maybe that’s the structure Yahoo needs …But this is a company that needs to sell Madison Avenue on big branding ideas.”

At the time, our source said the De Castro hire was “literally the worst ever” because he wasn’t equipped to deal with big agencies.

In the year he was at Yahoo, we heard murmurs of De Castro and Mayer not getting along. Kara Swisher at Re/Code reports De Castro was fighting with all of Yahoo’s top executives.

In September, there was report that his ouster was imminent. He was taking too long to get his sales team together, he was missing out on the rise of programmatic buying, and Yahoo’s ad business remained sluggish.

We’re guessing he got one last quarter to turn things around, but failed.

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