Some Yahoos Jump, Some Are Pushed as Layoffs Commence

  |  February 14, 2008   |  Comments

Yahoos are streaming out of the building, not all of them victims of the mass layoffs now underway.

Yahoos are streaming out of the building, not all of them victims of the mass layoffs now underway. While both low and high profile staffers have been shown the door, a number of others have walked of their own free will.

Two executives in Yahoo Search Marketing who appear to have left of their own volition in recent days are Michael Levine, director of strategic alliances, and Sales VP Eric Sternbach, who took a senior post at ad network AdKnowledge. Another free-will quitter is Bradley Horowitz, head of Yahoo's Advanced Technology Division, who has reportedly gone to Google. Additionally, U.K. search and sales executive Richard Firminger has jumped ship, according to a report in Brand Republic.

Naturally, the laid off are more numerous than the quitted. Of approximately 1,000 Yahoos who will be adding pink slips to their scrapbooks, a good number seem to have held senior posts. Salim Ismael led the company's Brickfish incubator unit; Susan Mernit was a senior product director in Personals; and Patrick Houston worked in Lifestyles.

Those who were let go broadcast the experience in varying degrees of detail on blogs, LinkedIn accounts, and Twitter. Ryan Kuder, former senior manager of integrated campaign strategy, used Twitter to record a blow-by-blow of his last day on the job.

"This is a serious downer. Trying to drown it in free lattes. Which I will miss," Kuder wrote. Then, "Lots of whispered conversations. Like people are afraid to ask who's gone."

Two other dismissed execs -- Chip Morningstar, Principal Technical Yahoo, and Randy Farmer, community strategy analyst at Yahoo -- had worked together on community integration projects. They were surprised to learn of their dismissal on Tuesday, Morningstar wrote in a blog post.

"From here it looks like they might have gone after those with larger salaries given the number of top-quality people we saw get the axe today," he noted.

Attending a reception after Yahoo's Searchlight Award program on his last day, Michael Levine, Yahoo's director of strategic alliances, told ClickZ he is headed to work at a hedge fund.

Levine joined Yahoo search marketing in 2004, where he was responsible for developing relationships with search engine marketing and traditional advertising agencies. With his new position, Levine apparently returns to his roots in the investment world. Early in his career, he was an investment banker at S.G. Cowen Securities and CIBC Oppenheimer.

Even as Yahoo security ushers the legions of let go workers out the door, the company is recruiting in various marketing-related roles. Job listings on its corporate site as of late January include account managers, mobile media account execs, a Director of Agency Relations and a SmartAds Manager.

Yahoo did not respond to a request for comment, nor did it issue a statement about the layoffs.


Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

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