In a rather abrupt move, Yahoo COO Henrique de Castro has left the company. Effective Thursday, de Castro will no longer hold any position at Yahoo, and has vacated his position as COO altogehter. This brings a strange wrinkle to an already odd story, and could mean a schism was growing within Yahoo’s ranks.
Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer famously snuck de Castro from Google’s arms in 2012, her first high profile hiring from her former home. Formal news of his departure comes in the form of a regulatory filing listing him as departed effective January 16. Though Meyer and de Castro worked at Google in the same timeframe, they did not actually work together, though they led people to believe they had. In choosing her second in command, Meyer led the world to believe she had chosen a friend and ally. Clearly, that’s not the case.
Re/Code’s Kara Swisher notes that, in preparation for a longer article about de Castro, few of those she interviewed about him had positive things to say. He had evidently made an enemy in Susan Wojcicki, the long-time Google ad boss who’s garage served as the first Google offices. His abrasive nature seemed to carry on at Yahoo.
Several sources say de Castro and Mayer grew distant, even contentious before his departure. In meetings, it seemed evident the duo simply didn’t like one another, and de Castro had been in a spat with the likes of new sales leader Ned Brody, among others in Mayer’s inner circle. Effectively, he made himself odd man out.
He is also the scapegoat for Yahoo’s poor earnings, it seems. Expeceted to announce their quarterly earnings later this month, it’s also expected that Yahoo fared far worse than expected in the Internet sector once again, which was de Castro’s charge. For a company bent on regaining its foothold in search and online relevance once again, one sour grape was dining the bunch. No word on where — or even if — de Castro will land next.
In an email to Yahoo staff, Mayer made it quite clear that de Castro leaving was her doing. She also announced a slight restructuring, wherein de Castro is not replaced. Once bitten, perhaps twice shy.